What we would like to do is change the world - make it a little simpler for people to feed, clothe, and shelter themselves as God intended them to do. And to a certain extent, by fighting for better conditions, by crying out unceasingly for the rights of the workers, of the poor, of the destitute - the rights of the worthy and the unworthy poor, in other words - we can to a certain extent change the world; we can work for the oasis, the little cell of joy and peace in a harried world. We can throw our pebble in the pond and be confident that its ever-widening circle will reach around the world.
We repeat, there is nothing that we can do but love, and dear God - please enlarge our hearts to love each other, to love our neighbor, to love our enemy as well as our friend.
Dorothy Day, "Love is the Measure", June 1946
The line about the "worthy and unworthy poor" reminded me of today's Gospel reading:
You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you. (Matthew 5:38-42)
It makes me think that Jesus wouldn't think very highly of the common advice not to give money to panhandlers.