Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

7.3.2 Source

Ambrosius: About Duties 2, 76-78 as found in Heilmann-Kraft, Vol III, pg 469-. 

It is clear that there must be a limit to generosity. Giving cannot be purposeless but must stay within reasonable boundaries, especially on the part of the priest so that in giving out alms he is not led by a desire to impress but by justice. Nowhere else is the beggar more insistent. Strong men and others appear for no other reason than to partake of the support for the poor and use up those supplies. Not satisfied with little, they demand bigger donations, seek to promote their begging with appropriate clothing and double their receipts by pretending it is their birthday. Whoever believes these people too readily and gives too freely quickly uses up the resources available to support the poor…. Some beggars even claim debts. It would be wise to confirm the veracity of such claims. They cry that they have been blackmailed into their actions. 

We should not simply be an ear for the voices of the pleading but should have an eye on the needs of those not seeking assistance…. The loud cries of the beggar extort us more. Impudent pushiness must not always be responded to. You should watch for those who do not wish to be seen; ask about those in embarrassed poverty who do not wish to be seen; the convict in jail should encounter you in spirit; the person bed bound in illness arrest your spirit when they cannot reach your ear.”