Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Giving Alms

We Orthodox are expected to give alms, especially during the fasting periods. But there is danger in doing it. Jesus warned us not to give like the Pharisees give, that is give secretly. Don't even let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. And don't feel proud about how much you are giving. So here is some practical advice on how to give alms:

1. Follow the example of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker and give your alms secretly and and night. Let no one see you, least of all the recipient of the gift.
2. Pray, "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me and hide me. Let no one see me."
3. Pray, "Son of God, forgive me for not giving more, for you have given me your very life. Save me from pride for my alms are are nothing compared to what I have received from you."

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