"Tertullian (155-222) explained how this welfare system functioned:
...On the monthly day, if he likes, each puts in a small donation; but only if it be his pleasure, and only if he is able; for there is no compulsion; all is voluntary. These gifts are, as it were, piety's deposit fund. For they are not taken thence and spent on feasts, and drinking bouts, and eating houses, but to support and bury poor people, to supply the wants of boys and girls of destitute means and parents, and of old persons confined now to the house; such, too, as have suffered shipwreck; and if there happen to be any in the mines, or banished to the islands, or shut up in prisons, for nothing but their fidelity to the cause of God's Church, they become the nurslings of their confession." - Stark, TC, p113
For nothing but their fidelity to the cause of God's Church... - these acts of mercy become the nurslings of their confession. How will the world know that we are a changed people, changed by the mercy of God?