Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Alms

"Give work rather than alms to the poor. The former drives out indolence, the latter industry. There are two kinds of charity, remedial and preventative. The former is often injurious in its tendency; the latter is always praiseworthy and beneficial." - Tyron Edwards

"Every good act is charity. Your smiling in your brother's face, is charity; an exhortation of your fellow-man to virtuous deeds, is equal to alms-giving; your putting a wanderer in the right road, is charity; your removing stones, and thorns, and other obstructions from the road, is charity; your giving water to the thirsty, is charity. A man's true wealth hereafter, is the good he does in this world to his fellow-man. When he dies, people will say, "What property has he left behind him?" but the angels will ask, "What good deeds has he sent before him."" -

"Not alms but self-sacrifice leads man to perfection." - Jacob ben Aaron of Karlin

"One day when famine had wrought great misery in Russia a beggar, weak, emaciated, all but starved to death, asked for alms. Tolstoy searched his pockets for a coin but discovered that he was without as much as a copper piece. Taking the beggar's worn hands between his own, he said: "Do not be angry with me brother; I have nothing with me." The thin, lined face of the beggar became illumined as from some inner light, and he whispered in reply: "But you called me brother - that was a great gift."" - Wesley Boyd

"Every good act is charity. Your smiling in your brother's face, is charity; an exhortation of your fellow-man to virtuous deeds, is equal to alms-giving; your putting a wanderer in the right road, is charity; your removing stones, and thorns, and other obstructions from the road, is charity; your giving water to the thirsty, is charity. A man's true wealth hereafter, is the good he does in this world to his fellow-man. When he dies, people will say, "What property has he left behind him?" but the angels will ask, "What good deeds has he sent before him."" -

"What if I should discover that the poorest of the beggars and the most impudent of offenders are all within me, and that I stand in need of the alms of my own kindness; that I myself am the enemy who must be loved – what then?" - Carl Jung, fully Carl Gustav Jung

"Not what we give, but what we share, for the gifts without the giver is bare; who gives himself with his alms feeds three - himself, his hungering neighbor and Me." - James Russell Lowell

"The purpose of the Holy Life does not consist in acquiring alms [or] honor... nor in gaining morality [or] concentration... That unshakable deliverance of the heart: that indeed, is the object of the Holy Life, that is its essence, that is its goal." - Majjhima Nikāya

"The best of all alms is that which the right hand giveth and the left hand knoweth not of." - Muhammad, also spelled Mohammad, Mohammed or Mahomet, full name Muhammad Ibn `Abd Allāh Ibn `Abd al-Muttalib NULL

"He who will not open the door to give alms will open it for the doctor." - Hindu Proverbs

"Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy." - Kahlil Gibran

"There are eight degrees in almsgiving… Supreme above all is to give assistance to a fellow man who has fallen on evil times by presenting him with a gift or loan, or entering into a partnership with him, or procuring him work, thereby helping him to become self-supporting. Next best is giving alms in such a way that the giver and recipient are unknown to each other. This is, indeed, the performance of a commandment from disinterested motives." - Maimonides, given name Moses ben Maimon or Moshe ben Maimon, known as "Rambam" NULL

"Character is always known. Thefts never enrich; alms never impoverish; murder will speak out of stone walls. The least admixture of a lie - for example, the taint of vanity, any attempt to make a good impression, a favorable appearance - will instantly vitiate the effect. But speak the truth and all nature and all spirits help you with unexpected furtherance." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Character is always known. Thefts never enrich; alms never impoverish; murder will speak out of stone walls." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"He who gives alms in secret is greater than Moses." - Talmud or The Talmud NULL

"A man giving in alms one piece of silver in his lifetime is better for him than giving one hundred when about to die." - Muhammad, also spelled Mohammad, Mohammed or Mahomet, full name Muhammad Ibn `Abd Allāh Ibn `Abd al-Muttalib NULL

"Listen, sons of the Lord and my brothers, pay attention to my words. Incline the ear of your heart and obey the voice of the Son of God. Observe His commands with your whole heart and fulfill His counsels with a perfect mind. Give praise to Him since He is good and exalt Him by your deeds (Tob. 13:6), for He has sent you into the entire world for this reason: that in word and deed you may give witness to His voice and bring everyone to know what there is no one who is all-powerful except Him. Preserve in disciple and holy obedience and with a firm and good purpose fulfill what you have promised to Him." - Saint Francis of Assisi, born Giovanni Francesco di Bernardone NULL

"All faults may be forgiven of him who has perfect candor." - Walt Whitman, fully Walter "Walt" Whitman

"All music is what awakes from you when you are reminded by the instruments" - Walt Whitman, fully Walter "Walt" Whitman

"Love-buds, put before you and within you, whoever you are, Buds to be unfolded on the old terms; If you bring the warmth of the sun to them, they will open, and bring form, color, perfume, to you; If you become the aliment and the wet, they will become flowers, fruits, tall blanches and trees." - Walt Whitman, fully Walter "Walt" Whitman

"Thou born to match the gale, (thou art all wings,) to cope with heaven and earth and sea and hurricane." - Walt Whitman, fully Walter "Walt" Whitman

"In the bosom of one of those spacious coves which indent the eastern shore of the Hudson, at that broad expansion of the river denominated by the ancient Dutch navigators the Tappan Zee, and where they always prudently shortened sail and implored the protection of St. Nicholas when they crossed, there lies a small market town or rural port, which by some is called Greensburgh, but which is more generally and properly known by the name of Tarry Town." - Washington Irving

"God is infinitely great in himself; we should recognize it in humble adoration: always good; we should acknowledge it by grateful thanksgiving: we have constant need of his blessings; it becomes us to ask them at his hand." - Tryon Edwards

"Would you know who is the greatest saint in the world? It is not he who prays most or fasts most; it is not he who gives most alms or is most eminent for temperance, chastity or justice; but it is he who is always thankful to God, who wills everything that God wills, who receives everything as an instance of God’s goodness and has a heart always ready to praise God for it. Could you therefore work miracles, you could not do more for yourself than by this thankful spirit, for it turns all that it touches into happiness." - William Law

"You are to honor, improve, and perfect the spirit that is within you: you are to prepare it for the kingdom of heaven, to nourish it with the love of God and of virtue, to adorn it with good works, and to make it as holy and heavenly as you can." - William Law

"The Buddha taught that all human suffering is rooted in desire. Don't we all know this to be true? Any of us who have ever desired something and then didn't get it (or, worse, got it and subsequently lost it) know full well the suffering of which the Buddah spoke. Desiring another person is perhaps the most risky endeavor of all. As soon as you want somebody - really want him - it is as though you have taken a surgical needle and sutured your happiness to the skin of that person, so that any separation will now cause you lacerating injury. All you know is that you must obtain the object of your desire by any means necessary, and then never be parted. All you can think about is your beloved. Lost in such primal urgency, you no longer completely own yourself. You have become an indentured servant to your own yearnings." - Elizabeth Gilbert

"Yes,' said Catherine, stroking his long soft hair, 'if I could only get papa's consent, I'd spend half my time with you - Pretty Linton! I wish you were my brother.'" - Emily Brontë, fully Emily Jane Brontë, aka pseudonym Ellis Bell