The Shepherd, January 2006

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FROM THE FATHERS

“ONLY ONCE is forgiveness of sin bestowed by Baptism, yet steadfast and uninterrupted almsgiving bestows on us again, as in Baptism, the remission of sins.”

Holy Hieromartyr Cyprian of Carthage, + 258 A.D.

“BRING FORTH therefore fruits worthy of repentance ….  One learns how greatly the works of mercy profit us, since they, before others, are counselled us as fruit worthy of repentance.  Hence Truth Itself said the same: Give alms, and behold, all things are clean unto you (Luke 9:41).  And again He says: Give and it shall be given unto you (Luke 6:38).  Hence also it was written: water quencheth a flaming fire, and alms resisteth sin (Ecclus. 3:33).  Hence again was it written: Shut up alms in the heart of the poor, and it shall obtain help for thee against evil (Ecclus. 29:4).  Hence finally, the good father admonishes his blameless son, saying: If thou hast much, give abundantly; if thou hast little, take care even so to bestow willingly a little (Tob. 4:9).”

Saint Gregory the Great, Pope of Rome, + 603 A.D.

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