Let this law, therefore, be held in respect among friends, namely, they expend themselves and
their goods for one another in such a way that he who gives preserves a cheerful aspect,
and that he who receives does not lose confidence. When Boaz observed the poverty
of Ruth, the Moabite, he spoke to her as she was gathering ears of corn behind his
reapers, consoled her and invited her to the table of his servants, and sparing in kindly
fashion her embarrassment, he ordered his reapers to leave ears of corn even
purposely so that she might collect them without shame. In the same way we ought
the more adroitly seek out the needs of our friends, anticipate their requests
by good services, and observe such demeanor in our giving that the recipient,
rather than the giver, appears to be bestowing the favor."
--Aelred of Rievaulx, "Spiritual Friendship" --
Aelred of Rievaulx was born in 1110 in Northumbria, UK. He became the
abbott of the famed Cistercian Rievaulx Monastery in Yorkshire. His work on
Spiritual Friendship is a classic. Rievaulx was dissolved by Henry the 8th
in the 1538. It's ruins still stand.
photo taken in Abergavenny, Wales