What moral and spiritual virtues do you bring?What am I doing now that is different and why?
I have started to respond to the monetary needs of members of our church family and locals highlighted in newspaper stories. The economic downturn affects those without a college education more than those of us who have one. While worshipping at church last Thanksgiving, I became aware of how grateful I am for all I have; this sense continues. I have steady job that pays well, few wants and simple needs, at least for a middle-class American in 2009. (As Joan Chittister writes in The Rule of Benedict, to have one car in a culture where folks have multiple vehicles, that's mortification!) My income has steadily increased, often more than five percent a year. There are always needs. Giving is satisfying and purportedly triggers the brain's reward center. I'm not very philosophical about it -- just do it. Just as change is a constant and growth is God's call to us, so I trust that when computing the total contributions for the the past year for tax purposes, the percentage of giving relative to income will increase. To not let the left hand know what the right hand is doing may be the the next step, that is, to abandon meticulous record keeping of contributions for income tax purposes. Also, giving money is easy; it is the highest score on the test of spiritual gifts. Does God have a charge that would be a test and a struggle?The irony is that this entry strikes me as self-congratulatory, but it may serve to motivate others.
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