Almsgiving - Making The Needs Of Other People Our Own
Updated: Mar 30
The three tenets of Lent are Pray, Fasting and Almsgiving. Although they are given the spotlight during the 40 days before Easter, once you start, they can easily be maintained throughout the year.
Almsgiving means donating money or goods to the poor and performing other acts of charity. As one of the three pillars of Lenten practice, almsgiving is "a witness to fraternal charity" and "a work of justice pleasing to God." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2462).
How does one start? Start with a generous heart and make a choice to assist those in need. Choose a beneficiary of your almsgiving by deciding what you are passionate about. Do you want to feed the poor; help provide housing to low-income seniors or people with disabilities; do you want to see evangelization grow in your parish; does your elderly neighbor need a ride to a doctor’s appointment or to church?
Although these tasks may seem beyond the scope of one person or family to accomplish, every act of service and, every donation regardless of its size, helps those in need.
Create your own family giving bowl. How can you fill it up? Individually and as a family, think about your weekly expenditures, focusing on non-essential items. Can one forgo or “fast” from a hand-crafted drink; a regular manicure; a weekly dinner or a movie? The money that is unspent can fill up the family giving bowl. Each day, say a prayer individually and as a family for the beneficiaries of your almsgiving. How did that make you feel?
Our Church has many ways to engage in almsgiving locally and diocesan wide. Donate or increase your giving to your parish’s offertory or buy a grocery gift card to give to its outreach office. A donation to the Catholic Ministries Appeal is wonderful opportunity for all parishioners to join together to support evangelization and pastoral care to those in need.