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What I believe we discover when we examine the theory and practice of Christian almsgiving in Cyprian's church is that the interplay between the scriptural injunctions to care for the needy without expecting return and the Roman system of patron-client relationships, coupled with the threats both to Cyprian's leadership and to the financial security of wealthier Christians brought about by the Decian persecution, resulted in dramatic upheavals in a short period of time.
Almsgiving might be called for by the Bible, but society could not be too careful about the earmarks of virtue and vice in recipients, lest it run against divine exclusions.
The Rule of Benedict taught that we were to fast during Lent, true, but added that we were also to "add to the usual measure of our service something by way of private prayer" and "holy reading and almsgiving.
Try to deny myself some "goodie" and emphasize prayer and almsgiving more.
On this first day of Lent, the church publicly begins a season of life-giving conversion sustained by the pillars of prayer, fasting and almsgiving.
They are faith in the one God, prayer five times daily, almsgiving, fasting, and the once-in-a-lifetime hajj to Mecca.
This fast is voluntary and non-obligatory--a period of prayer, fasting and almsgiving.
Because God is so good, after 40 days of Lent spent in intense self-sacrifice and penance, in prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, God gives us 50 days of celebration, 10 more days of chocolate bunnies and jelly beans than ashes, bread, and water.
In the chapter on Lent, the themes of fasting and almsgiving are considered.
McSorley's example opened the door for me to the church's traditional spiritual weapons against war: the corporal works of mercy, prayer, fasting, almsgiving, mortification, and penance.
Rather the sacred scriptures and the Fathers of the Church constantly declare in the most explicit language that the rich are bound by a great precept to practice almsgiving, beneficence, and munificence.
Gabe Huck's "Get hungry for Lent" (pages 18-22) looks at fasting, almsgiving, and prayer as spiritual exercises that whet our appetite for the reign of God.