Fr. O'Toole posted on August 31, 2013 23:55
The story is told of a wise pastor who went to get a haircut. The barber, who also happened to be a parishioner, took the opportunity to tell the pastor all the reasons why the barber was not going to complete his stewardship pledge card. “I don’t think we should have to promise to give money to God. We should give what our heart tells us at the time. I like to be able to just put in the collection whatever I have that week.” The pastor listened carefully and after his haircut he handed the barber $1 for the $10 haircut, saying, “I like to give what my heart tells me – just whatever I have in my pocket at the time.” “Father,” the barber protested, “I can’t pay my rent, take care of my expenses and run my business successfully if everyone would do that.” The pastor then replied, “Neither can God.”
This past summer the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Church Life reported some interesting findings in their study of stewardship. It noted that Catholics who decide to give monthly or annually give more than those who give “whatever it seems like I can afford.” Committing one’s self to a regular pattern of tithing over time proves to yield greater dividends for the beneficiary than giving “what I happen to have in my pocket this week.”
Such optimum results are true not only for monetary gifts but with other ways of giving as well. For instance, the children’s sports team is more likely to have consistent coaching from parents who commit themselves to all the season’s practices and games than those who decide to show up whenever their schedule allows. The same is true with prayer. A strong and healthy spiritual life is built when we devote ourselves to faithful attendance to Mass each week and a routine of personal prayer rather than turning to God only when we are in a period of crisis.
Sunday, September 22 begins our period of Stewardship awareness at St. Margaret of Scotland. Remember that stewardship is about spirituality – a way of life that allows us to be true disciples of Jesus by devoting our unique skills, talents and treasure to others in the Church. What is your commitment?