A generous heart is the key to happinessboth in this life and in the next. Every time we are generous, we become even more grateful for the blessings that God has showered upon us. Each instance of kindhearted giving shows us how enriched we are in the things that really count: compassion, humility, and goodness. Generosity also shows us that all people are created equal in dignity and worth, regardless of their social, racial, or economic standing. And finally, when we reach out to help Gods little ones, we touch the very heart of God.
This is what happened to St. Martin of Tours, a young soldier who was looking into becoming a Christian. One day, he met a poorly dressed man begging for alms in the freezing cold. Martin stopped, cut his coat in two, and gave half to the stranger. That night, in a dream, he saw Jesus in heaven wearing a torn cloak. Master, an angel asked, why are you wearing that battered cloak? Jesus replied, My servant Martin gave it to me. Realizing that by giving his coat to a beggar, he was really caring for Christ, Martin was pierced to the heart and immediately decided he wanted to be baptized.
How can we grow in generosity? First, thank God for his generosity. Second, pray for those in need. Third, look for opportunities to help someone who is struggling. Tutor a student, visit a shut-in, help in a soup kitchen, or collect goods for the St. Vincent de Paul Society. Ask God to fill your heart with generosity and compassion for others, and youll discover riches that money cant buy.