THE WIDOW'S MITE
5. And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites which make a farthing. And He called unto him His disciples and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast in more than all they which have cast into the treasury: for all they did cast in of their abundance: but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living (Mark, 12: 41-44).
And He looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. And He saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. And He said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hast cast in more than they all. For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had (Luke, 21:1-4).
6. Many people deplore the fact that they are unable to do all the good they desire due to lack of financial resources. They would like to be rich in order, so they say, to be able to make good use of those funds. Their intention no doubt is laudable and in some cases even sincere. However, in the vast majority is this desire totally disinterested? Will there not be those who, whilst wishing to do good to others, would also appreciate being able to begin by doing good to themselves, of being in a position to offer themselves a few more pleasures or the enjoyment of something superfluous they lack, after this then being quite ready to offer the poor what is left over? This second thought behind the desire, perchance concealed even from their own eyes, which they would have to face if they scrutinized the depths of their hearts, annuls all merit for the intention, seeing that true charity thinks of others before it thinks of itself. The sublimity of charity, in this case, would be for each one to seek within their work the necessary resources they lack to be able to realise their generous intentions, by means of employing their strength, intelligence and aptitudes. In so doing they would be offering the kind of sacrifice most pleasing to the Lord. Unhappily the majority live out their lives dreaming of ways and means of easily and quickly acquiring riches for themselves without any effort. By running after foolish fancies like the discovery of buried treasure, or some favourable random chance, or even the possibility of receiving an unexpected inheritance etc. What can be said then about those who expect to find spiritual helpers to second their attainment of these objectives? Certainly they know nothing at all nor do they understand the sacred finalities of Spiritism, and even less of the mission of the Spirits whom God permits to communicate with incarnate men. Hence it happens that they are punished by deceptions. (See THE MEDIUM'S BOOK, second part, items 294 & 295.)
Those whose intentions are totally exempt from personal interest must console themselves with the knowledge that it is impossible to do all the good that could be wished, and to remember the mite of the poor, taken from meagre resources which causes deprivation, but which weighs more on God's scales than the gold of the rich who give without depriving themselves of anything. The satisfaction of the former would truly be great if they could help all the destitute on a large scale. But if this is denied them, then they must submit to this fact and limit themselves to what is possible. Furthermore, can tears be dried only with money? Should we remain inactive because we have no money? All those who sincerely wish to be of use to their fellow beings will find thousands of ways of helping. If you look for them they will appear, if not in one way then in another, because there is no one who, having full command of their faculties, cannot help someone, offer consolation, minimise both physical and moral suffering or do something useful. While money may be lacking, do we all not have time, work and hours of repose to spare which we can offer to help others? This too is the alms of the poor, the widow's mite.