Why and how does giving of our finances to those less needy than us bring us closer to God? In my old evangelical church we had a saying that went like this: " Jesus needs to be Lord of All, including our wallets. " This saying has its roots in historical Church teaching and the Bible.
Scripture often speaks on how there was an inverse relationship between our growth in grace and our attraction to money. Does poverty equate with spirituality? No, but remember how easy it is for a rich man to get into heaven? (Think Eye of Needle) Perhaps, the reason the Church emphasizes this during Lent is to refocus our values which have a tendency, especially in my case, to get out of focus.
I am thankful that the Church reminds us to reach into our wallets and out of ourselves for the poor and needy this season of Lent.
"Dear brothers and sisters, Lent invites us to “train ourselves” spiritually, also through the practice of almsgiving, in order to grow in charity and recognize in the poor Christ Himself. In the Acts of the Apostles, we read that the Apostle Peter said to the cripple who was begging alms at the Temple gate: “I have no silver or gold, but what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, walk” (Acts 3,6). In giving alms, we offer something material, a sign of the greater gift that we can impart to others through the announcement and witness of Christ, in whose name is found true life. Let this time, then, be marked by a personal and community effort of attachment to Christ in order that we may be witnesses of His love. May Mary, Mother and faithful Servant of the Lord, help believers to enter the “spiritual battle” of Lent, armed with prayer, fasting and the practice of almsgiving, so as to arrive at the celebration of the Easter Feasts, renewed in spirit. With these wishes, I willingly impart to all my Apostolic Blessing." (cf Pope Benedict 16th's Lenten Reflection)
Labels: Devotional Practices