Unfinished Business

Date: 8/17/2009

Or maybe St. Vincent couldn't pay the barber the full price for a shave?

You will find out that Charity is a heavy burden to carry, heavier than the kettle of soup and the full basket.  But you will keep your gentleness and your smile.  It is not enough to give soup and bread.  This the rich can do.  You are the servant of the poor, always smiling and good-humored.  They are your masters, terribly sensitive and exacting masters as you will see.  And the uglier and the dirtier they will be, the more unjust and insulting, the more love you must give them.  It is only for your love alone that the poor will forgive you the bread you give to them.

  • St. Vincent de Paul, as quoted in Homelessness in America:  A Forced March to Nowhere (1982), p. 121


And since a government cannot give love along with bread to the poor, it is no wonder that their programs to aid the poor fail.