The Good You Can Do
Since the foundation of the Church it has been the tradition of the Christian community to share goods because the believers were all of “one heart and mind” (Acts 4:32). One of the principal tasks of the Apostles in the early Church was to collect goods and redistribute them in an equitable way: “There was no needy person among them, for those who owned property or houses would sell them, bring the proceeds of the sale, and put them at the feet of the apostles, and they were distributed to each according to need” (Acts 4:34-35). St. Justin, one of the early Church Fathers, wrote, “Those who are well off, and who are also willing, give as each chooses. What is gathered is given to him who presides to assist orphans and widows, those whom illness or any other cause has deprived of resources, prisoners, immigrants and, in a word, all who are in need.”
Throughout sacred scripture God tells us that everything belongs to God. He made the world and all that is in it. He made us and blessed us with absolutely every gift we have. Our lives, our families, our health, our education, our unique talents and skills, our job and our income are all blessings from God, entrusted into our care for the good of all peoples. Thus, when we give back we are really only returning to God what is his.
Giving back is about more than just satisfying the worldly needs of the Church. First and foremost it will help you grow in your spiritual life with Christ.
When you take a hard look at your spending and plan to make God first in your budget you quickly begin to realize the difference between what you need and what you want.
You begin to eliminate the endless clutter of material wants from your life and start to more fully appreciate the many blessings that you already have.
You realize that commercialism works to convince us that we never have enough of the right things, even though God has already blessed you with all that you need.
You stop being “consumed by consumerism” and “possessed by your possessions” and begin to slow down and prioritize not only how you spend your money but also how you spend your time.
Once you stop trying to satisfy yourself with material possessions and spending, you may even find that you enjoy simple pleasures more fully – especially time to deepen your relationships with God, with loved ones and with your community.
There are many opportunities for giving at St Louis Parish and School. A balanced spiritual life involes giving not just of our treasure but also of our time and talents. Please visit our volunteer page and let us know how you would like to give at St Louis.