20 Feb

I know a person, passionately desirous of doing good, who used to apply a tenth of her alms to buy something which might be of service to souls.

Service to needy souls

Sometimes it was a little treatise on judgment, on the divine mercy, on the presence of God; sometimes, perhaps, a pious pamphlet or medal. For a shilling she often could buy a hundred of these trifles, which she selected in bright colours, red or blue… She let them fall, as if accidentally, along the road, so that they might be picked up by some child, young girl, or labourer returning from his work. Perhaps these few sentences, already heard at catechism, would awaken remorse or recall some forgotten resolution.

Pious seed

Oh! who can calculate what a holy harvest she has thus down? She never went on a journey without “forgetting” in the trains and diligences, those alms for souls! She never pretended to hear when anyone called after her to restore them.

She “lost” a great many of them by leaving them accidentally between the leaves of books borrowed by her, and in those which she lent.

She used them as wrappers when she had occasion to send parcels, and sometimes she gave a penny to some poor child to scatter them in public places.

A holy harvest

She never knew the good which sprung up from this pious seed, sown thus in some thousands of souls. Many grains were indeed trodden under foot, treated with contempt; but is it impossible to imagine that none of them took root?

Continue ceaselessly your labour, in silence and obscurity, industrious sower. God, who sees everything, God, who counts all your steps, writes it down in the book of life. May the publicity which I give to your zeal find you many imitators!

– From: Golden Grains, Eighth Edition, H.M. Gill and Son, Dublin, 1889



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