A fundamental part of Christianity is showing love toward others in imitation of Jesus. This is charity.

Donating money, food, or other necessities or performing other acts of charity for those in need is referred to as almsgiving.

Almsgiving is a combination of prayer and fasting when it is directed toward the love of God and when what is given comes from what we need and not just we don’t want.

Alms should be given out of gratitude and generosity, not because of guilt or pressure.

In recognition of the dignity of others and that everything comes from God, Catholics are called to give alms throughout the year.

There is a special emphasis on almsgiving as one of the three pillars of Lenten practice.

Giving with generosity and love:

Showing love and mercy:

The works of mercy are charitable actions by which we come to the aid of our neighbor in his spiritual and bodily necessities. Instructing, advising, consoling, comforting are spiritual works of mercy, as are forgiving and bearing wrongs patiently. The corporal works of mercy consist especially in feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned, and burying the dead. Among all these, giving alms to the poor is one of the chief witnesses to fraternal charity: it is also a work of justice pleasing to God.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 2447

Sharing what God has given to us:

For Jesus’ sake:

Almsgiving, according to the Gospel, is not mere philanthropy: rather it is a concrete expression of charity, a theological virtue that demands interior conversion to love of God and neighbor, in imitation of Jesus Christ, who, dying on the cross, gave His entire self for us. How could we not thank God for the many people who silently, far from the gaze of the media world, fulfill, with this spirit, generous actions in support of one’s neighbor in difficulty? There is little use in giving one’s personal goods to others if it leads to a heart puffed up in vainglory: for this reason, the one, who knows that God “sees in secret” and in secret will reward, does not seek human recognition for works of mercy.

Pope Benedict XVI, Message for Lent, 2008

4 reasons why Christians give alms:

Care for our neighbor:

Going out to the marginalized and vulnerable:

“[But] take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father. When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.”

Matthew 6: 1-4

Alsmsgiving has biblical origins:

Charity toward the poor is a form of sacrifice:

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

A deeper knowledge of who God is:

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