A mother wanted to teach her daughter a moral
lesson. She gave the little girl a one-dollar
and a five-dollar bill for church. "Put
whichever one you want in the collection
plate and keep the other for yourself,"
she told the girl. When they were coming
out of church, the mother asked her daughter
which amount she had given. "Well,"
said the little girl, "I was going to
give the five-dollar, but just before the
collection the priest said that we should
all be cheerful givers. I knew I'd be a lot
more cheerful if I gave the one dollar and
so I did!"
Our original sin polluted nature hates giving.
It tends to measure carefully our open-handedness.
This is why this corrupt nature needs to
be recreated, Christianity says. And all
this for our benefit! My pastor in Canada
was inspired once to put up this big poster
in our Church's lobby, "I have tried
to keep things in my hands and lost them
all, but what I have given into God's hands
I still possess."
The truth is the more we give, the more we
receive. "How is it that the more I
give in charity, the more I have?" asked
a puzzled Christian. The answer of the catechist
was disarming. "Oh, as we shovel money
out, He shovels it in, and the Lord has a
And we feel lighter! In his book of sermons
The Living Faith, Lloyd C. Douglas tells
the story of Thomas Hearne, who, in his journey
to the mouth of the Coppermine River in Canada,
wrote that a few days after they had started
on their expedition, a party of Indians stole
most of their supplies. His comment on the
apparent misfortune was: "The weight
of our baggage being so much lightened, our
next day's journey was more swift and pleasant."
Life can be seen from different angles.
This couple gave a sizeable contribution
to their Church to honor the honor of their
son who had just been killed in an accident.
When the announcement was made in Church,
the wife whispered to her husband, "Why
don't we give the same amount in honor of
each of the boys?" The husband looked
at her and said, "What are you talking
about? Our three children are still alive.
Why should we honor their memory?!"
"Exactly!' said the woman, "Let
us give the money as an expression of our
gratitude for keeping them safe!"
"Give, give, give… Nothing but giving!
I am tired of giving," complained the
man. "Okay," answered the angel.
Let us make a deal! The moment God stops
giving to you, you stop giving to others!"
Let us put everything in perspective. When
we give, the benefits are three-dimensional!
It helps those in need. It inspires others
to give. It forms an inner character in the
giver - one marked by less egotism and fewer
materialistic tendencies and enhanced awareness
of other people.
Buddha is quoted to have said, "Thousands
of candles can be lighted from a single candle,
and the life of the candle will not be shortened.
Happiness never decreases by being shared."
After all, let us be real, those who bring
sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep
it from themselves!
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission
granted for any non-commercial use,
that the content is unaltered from
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