Hopefully you have received my letter sent to your home in which I invite you to prayerfully reflect on your charitable giving and to make a plan for 2019. You will find additional information in this bulletin under the title of Discipleship and Generosity.
We know that God is generous beyond all imagining, totally self-giving. Everything we have comes from Him. Every day we have multiple opportunities, almost endless really, to share God’s love with others by generosity. It is not just about talent and time. Our finances are another part of our spiritual life, an integral part for those growing in gratitude, discipleship and love.
You know that we, the parish family of Saint Eleanor, tithe our Sunday ordinary collection – 3% is given to those involved with the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy, both locally and abroad. We do this out of gratitude for God’s many, many blessings and to imitate His generosity to us by sharing generously with others.
I am told that it has been around eight (8) years since our parish family was asked to reflect on their charitable giving. I am asking us to do so now not because we are building a building, not because we are unable to pay our bills or our debt. No, I am asking that we look at our charitable giving because of our gratitude to God and our desire to live generously in imitation of Him.
My guess is that many of us have never looked at our charitable giving in light of our income to see what percentage we are giving back to God, sharing generously His blessings with others. I didn’t do that until I heard some lay Catholics convincingly speak on the topic of tithing as a way of life. Now I am not suggesting that you jump in and donate a full 10% of your blessings, the Biblical tithe.
I am suggesting that you take a look, make a plan and raise your charitable giving by perhaps a half percent (0.5%) or by one percent (1%) for the coming year. If you are already maxed out in your charitable giving, that is perfectly fine. By doing this little exercise you will have prayerfully reflected on what you are doing in this area of your spiritual life.
One final thought, did you know that Jesus spoke a lot about money. Sixteen parables (out of thirty-eight) concern how to handle money and possessions and one out of ten verses in the Gospels are on the subject. We do need a spirituality of money. Matthew Kelly writes in his Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic, “…in our spiritual development money is either an opportunity for growth or an obstacle to it.” We all need to develop a practical spirituality around it.
God bless you, God love you,