It is especially when I fear a misfortune that the power of my alms is manifested.
Every misfortune is either a trial or a punishment, I think. In the first case my strength increases to such a degree that the trial which I dreaded finds me quite joyful, and I would be pained if it did not come upon me; I feel no longer its weight, but only its merit. In the second case, the punishment never comes… In the greater number of cases does not a fine imposed by a magistrate exempt from corporal punishment? It always does when imposed by God – I know it by experience.
Do you not fear too great expense?
But do you not fear too great expense? – Should I fear expense which procures me peace, cheerfulness, and resignation? What is the use of money, if it does not serve to make me happy?
Ah! if the happiness which I “buy” from God were sold in the shops instead of vanities and superfluities, would you reproach me with spending too much, if I bought it?
And, moreover, I have never felt so forcibly the truth of these words, until I began giving [properly and decently] to the needy: Alms-giving never makes one poor.
Perhaps my wants diminish, perhaps my desires are less ambitious – I do not know; but one thing is certain: I am never without money.
– From: Golden Grains, Eighth Edition, M.H. Gill and Son, Dublin, 1889