Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:3)
The poor in spirit-those who are humble and are not attached to their possessions. I know a lot of people who are attached to their possessions and the things of this world, and who do not have God in their lives. I pray for them daily. It isn't an easy thing to be detached from the things you own; how many of us would give up something that we have spent our hard-earned money for? My husband is an inspiration to me in this regard; he tends to give much more freely than I do. I found this interesting and inspiring passage in The Imitation of Mary (Alexander De Rouville):
Mary: My child, the best use you can make of your abundance is to help the poor with it. If you do possess wealth, bear in mind that in giving it to you Divine Providence made you its administrator with a view to those who have no riches. Do not imitate the rich miser who closes his heart to the needs of his brothers and would rather see them die a wretched death than deprive himself of something in order to help them. He thinks of piling up treasure only in the present life. But the day will come when he passes from time to eternity and, waking from his sleep, finds himself empty-handed.
Imitate, rather, the rich who are compassionate and humane; who become fathers to the poor; who are not afraid to impoverish themselves by giving alms freely.
How many blessings such men receive even on earth! Yet far more precious are the blessings they will receive in heaven.
Frequently the Lord gives back to them in overflowing measure even on earth, what love has made them give away to the poor.
In addition, they may expect to have in eternity all the fullness He has promised.
If paradise had been closed to them because of their sins, almsgiving could open it to them. By almsgiving they could, as it were, make payment for their sins.
Make it your duty, then, to help the unfortunate.Do not give ear to your own cupidity which claims it never has enough. You are not forbidden to save, but you may not be hard-hearted and miserly. How praiseworthy it is to be thrifty so that one may help the poor!
Unless you are very poor, do not think you need give no alms. You must give alms according to your means. If you have a great deal, give a great deal; if you have but a little, then gladly share that little with the poor.
My child, all who have practised the works of mercy during their earthly lives will feel great confidence as they stand before the judgement seat of the God of mercy.
I hear so often; "I worked hard for my money; those people could be working too- why should I support them ?" Remember, it is not up to us to judge, but to help others. Sometimes the best help we can give is to help them to help themselves; enable someone to get an education, or help them to find a job, or even by babysitting while they look for work. Sometimes just simply praying for someone can be an almsgiving, especially if you are poor yourself. Whatever your situation, there is always something you can do that will benefit another- remember the Corporal and Spiritual works of mercy, and try to incorporate them into daily life.