Frédéric thought that aid, almsgiving, is humiliating when only material needs are met, “causing shame, and doing what anyone does even with animals.”
He says it’s humiliating because it can not be reciprocated, they are favors that the other has not the slightest chance to give you them back.
However, aid honors when it is offered to the highest level, when it attempts to make free, when serving “his soul, religion, comfort, handshake, conversation, education, you visit him, you suffer with him…” Help honors when “the poor is treated not as an equal but as a superior.”
He concludes with a sentence that should make us all Vincentians think:
Because that destitute family you love, loves you in turn, and they have generously met you, you will have received more than what you give, only when they, the grandfather, the mother or the children, have prayed for you.
He said to always ask for prayers. There is reciprocity, because they, said Frédéric, “give you back much more with their prayers.”
Author: Juan Manuel Gómez,
vice-president, SSVP in Spain.
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