St. Augustine once said that fasting and almsgiving are the two “wings” that help our prayer fly up to heaven. An image like this gives us the idea that denying ourselves and caring for the poor are closely related and that together they can give a powerful thrust to our spiritual lives. By helping us put aside selfishness, they make it easier for us to focus on Jesus and the selfless love he wants to build up in us.
Lent is often reduced to a time when we “give something up,” a time when we take up practices that we don’t enjoy but that we sense are...
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