If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn’t help the poor, either we’ve got to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are or we’ve got to acknowledge he commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don’t want to do it.
And God said to the soul:
I desired you before the world began.
I desire you now
As you desire me
And where the desires of two come together
There love is perfected.
~Mechtild of Magdeburg (1207-1297)
We do not exist for ourselves alone, and it is only when we are fully convinced of this fact that we begin to love ourselves properly and thus also love others. What do I mean by loving ourselves properly? I mean, first of all, desiring to live, accepting life as a very great gift and a great good, not because of what it gives us, but because of what it enables us to give to others.
~Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island