Friday, December 14, 2007

Advent and Giving

Mrs. Testosterhome has a beautiful post
about her work with the Poorest of the Poor alongside Blessed Teresa of Calcutta's Missionaries of Charity. Her blog is worth reading anytime, but today, it's a must.

Her story reminded me of our Women's Scripture Study last month. We'd been discussing the virtue of Justice, which wound around to the topic of charity and the beatitudes; of following Jesus' command to care for those in need. As Advent was nearing, we discussed how many of us choose this time of the year to "clean house" and donate toys, clothes or other *stuff* to local shelters. Someone offered to be a drop-off location for donations as the St. Vincent DePaul truck was scheduled to pick-up donations at her house the following week.

I shared with the group how my own love of donating to charity was a bit jaded by the guilt I feel when said charity pulls up in my own driveway and (sometimes) even loads my boxes and bags of excess onto their truck for me, leaving me to simply stand aside and accept the tax-deductible receipt for the following April.

As we moved on to the final portion of the study, to read the story of "The Widow's Mite", suddenly a great spiritual fog lifted for me. Jesus commended the Widow for her giving because it came not from her excess, but from her need. Of course, my giving was charitable, but it was also a little selfish, if I was being honest with myself. True charity, real generosity, as illustrated from Mrs. Testosterhome's powdered donut story, must come from giving fully of ourselves--even to people whom we decide "don't deserve" it, just as God gives freely to us.


jena said...

I really needed to hear that today thank you Jane

Lisa@UnexpectedJourney said...

This is a good time to ponder of all of this.
My children's classrooms are collecting items for a needy family that each class has adopted. Instead of hurriedly picking up something to donate, I have decided that we will consider what can truly be a blessing for the members of this family, for those kids who may not have much. They are not just a "charity case" at Christmas time, but a real family who may not have much.
Sorry this is so long, but this post (and your link) was timely and I had not thought about it much before. Thank you!

patjrsmom said...

I'm glad you liked it as much as I did.

God Bless,