18. Brothers and sisters, you should all love the orphans. If you only knew how sad it is to be abandoned, especially in infancy! God permits there to be orphans so that we may be motivated to be their parents. What an act of divine charity it is to protect a creature who has been sadly abandoned, to stop them from being hungry and cold, and administer to their soul so they may not fall prey to vice! When someone offers a helping hand to an abandoned creature they are being agreeable to God because they have understood and practised His law. Meditate on the possibility that frequently the child you are helping may be someone who was very dear to you in a past incarnation, and that if they were able to recognise you, it would no longer be an act of charity but a simple obligation. In this way, my friends, every sufferer is your brother or sister and so has a right to your kindness. However, not the kind of charity that hurts feelings, nor yet the kind of alms that burns the hand which receives it, for unfortunately help is frequently accompanied by bitterness! How many times these sufferers would rather have refused, if it were not for the fact of sickness or death being their only other option. So, give with delicacy and together with any benefits you may offer, also give the most precious benefit of all, that of a kindly word, a loving gesture and a friendly smile. Avoid being patronizing, which only turns the dagger of suffering in the heart, so causing more bleeding. Consider that by doing good, you're working for your own benefit as well as for those whom you love. - A Family Spirit (Paris, 1860).