Nicholas was a fourth century bishop in Myra on the coast of what is now Turkey. He was noted as a person who was generous toward the poor
Basil, the great fourth century father of the Orthodox Church, wrote:
What keeps you from giving now? Isn’t the poor person there? Aren’t your own warehouses full? Isn’t the reward promised? The command is clear: the hungry person is dying now, the naked person is freezing now, the person in debt is beaten now-and you want to wait until tomorrow? “I’m not doing any harm,” you say. “I just want to keep what I own, that’s all.” You own! You are like someone who sits down in a theater and keeps everyone else away, saying that what is there for everyone’s use is your own…. If everyone took only what they needed and gave the rest to those in need, there would be no such thing as rich and poor. After all, didn’t you come into life naked, and won’t you return naked to the earth?
The bread in your cupboard belongs to the hungry person; the coat hanging unused in your closet belongs to the person who needs it; the shoes rotting in your closet belong to the person with no shoes; the money which you put in the bank belongs to the poor. You do wrong to everyone you could help, but fail to help.
Ambrose, the fourth century bishop of Milan, held a similar view.
The large rooms of which you are so proud are in fact your shame. They are big enough to hold crowds-and also big enough to shut out the voice of the poor…there is your sister or brother, naked, crying! And you stand confused over the choice of an attractive floor covering.
Prayer of the Day – Treasury of Daily Prayer
Almighty God, grant Your church the grace to deal in generosity and love with children and with all who are poor and distressed and to plead the cause of those who have no helper, especially those tossed by tempests of doubt or grief; for the sake of Your Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ, our who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
P.S. Happy Birthday to grandkids Amelia (14) and Lucas (9).