Oblate Program at Belmont Abbey, NC

God Knows Our Hearts

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Mammon is the Hebrew word for "riches;' just as in Punic the word for "profit" is mammon. What are we to do? What did the Lord command? "Make yourselves friends with the mam­mon of iniquity [dishonest wealth], so that they too, when you begin to fail, may receive you into eternal shelters:" It is easy, of course, to understand that we must give alms and a helping hand to the needy, because Christ receives it in them. . . .

We can understand that we have to give alms and that we must not really pick and choose to whom we give them, because we are unable to sift through people's hearts. When you give alms to all different types of people, then you will reach a few who deserve them. You are hospitable, and you keep your house ready for strangers. Let in the unworthy, in case the worthy might be excluded. You cannot be a judge and sifter of hearts.

St. Augustine,
Sermon 359a.11-12

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