On the importance of charity
Give to a hungry man and what you give becomes yours and, indeed, returns to you with interest. As the sower profits from the wheat that falls into the ground, so will you profit greatly in the world to come from the bread that you place before a hungry man. Your husbandry must be the sowing of heavenly seed – 'Sow integrity for yourself' says Scripture. You are going to leave your money behind you here whether you wish it or not. On the other hand, you will take with you to the Lord the honour you have won through good works. In the presence of the universal Judge, all the people will surround you, acclaim you as a public benefactor, and tell of your generosity and kindness.
From a sermon on charity by St Basil the Great (Ad 330 - 379)