Here’s a paradox that is central to Christianity: We lose what we keep, and we gain what we give away! “Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses it will save it,” Jesus told his disciples (Luke 17:33).
A generous heart is the key to happiness—both in this life and in the next. Every time we are generous, we become even more grateful for the blessings that God has showered upon us. Each instance of kindhearted giving shows us how enriched we are in the things that really count: compassion, humility, and goodness. Generosity also shows us that all people are created equal in dignity and worth, regardless of their social, racial, or economic standing. And finally, when we reach out to help God’s little ones, we touch the very heart of God.
This is what happened to St. Martin of Tours, a young soldier who was looking into becoming a Christian. One day, he met a poorly dressed man begging for alms in the freezing cold. Martin stopped, cut his coat in two, and gave half to…
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