Our Duty to Beg
Your Merit to Give
Go, because in this final hour the Friars Minor have been loaned to the world, in order that the elect may fulfill in them, that for which they will be commended by the Judge – hearing that most sweet word “As often as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me” (Mt. 25,40). (Saint Francis)
One farmer may loan his combine to another farmer, that the latter may gather in his harvest. Thus St. Francis thinks of God having loaned to the world...the Friars Minor as an instrument for reaping a rich harvest of merit and eternal reward in heaven. The poor, begging friars going around in the world provide the faithful with a constant reminder as well as an easy opportunity for giving frequent and generous alms. The elect may fulfill in them their obligation of practicing Christian charity to their neighbor.
The very life and vocation of the Friars, who profess Gospel poverty, is a reminder to the people of the necessity of Gospel charity. The very name of Friars Minor (Lesser Brothers) recalls the above quoted text on charity to least brethren. Finally, the example of the Friars’ detachment from worldly goods inclines good Christians the more readily to detach themselves from some of their goods by almsgiving.
†Wolter, Martin. The Voice of Your Father. Franciscan Herald Press, 1959, p.26.