But the most stirring motive for giving, one that, while any of the others quite suffices, exhorts us above all, is that everything we do for our neighbor we do for Jesus himself. That is enough to change our entire life, guide all our actions, our words, and our thoughts. Everything we do for our neighbor is done for Jesus. What an apostolic spirit that gives us! What a spirit of charity! And hence what a thrust to our prayers, our works, our lives! What a life of poverty, charity, and self-denial! What a thirst for spiritual grace, relief for the soul and body! Now we can understand why we must be “men of courage” (cf. Dan. 10:19)
What horizons open up! It places our entire life, both inner and outer, our prayers as well as our rules for living and relations with people, at the service of our neighbors, primarily at the service of their spiritual good, and secondarily their material good, strictly—absolutely strictly—purely, purely for the sake of Jesus. Because according to his Word we must believe with divine faith that everything we do to our neighbor, we do to Jesus. It therefore follows that if we want to spend our entire life doing the most good to Jesus, we must use our life to do the most good to our neighbor. O my Lord and my God, help me thoroughly understand this truth!