soup-kitchenMy Article at CRUX this week questions the effectiveness of our charity efforts.

The poor-whether they are genuine or not-congregate around Catholic churches because the needy know we care. Down through the ages Catholics, along with other Christians have rolled up their sleeves and got to work feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, healing the sick, educating the ignorant and tending the dying.

It is one of the marks of Christian authenticity. We should be proud that the poor populate our porches and parking lots.

Helping the poor may be one of the most compelling things we do, but it is also one of the most complex. We’re supposed to help the poor, but how do we do that? Is the quick handout after Mass or the hastily written check really the answer?

A priest of my acquaintance who does admirable work with the poor tells his wealthy parishioners, “Just give them money. You have it. They don’t. They need it, and you need to give.”

Well, maybe and maybe not.

Read the whole post here

Image: (Credit: Ariel Skelly/Getty Images.)