How Can I Be More Generous Today?

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Image credit: hannahpirnie, Pixabay

Image credit: hannahpirnie, Pixabay

The text of today’s tweet from Pope Francis hit my phone at 1:45 am:

I read it during one of my middle of the night periods of wakefulness, offered a quiet prayer, and then rolled back over and drifted off to sleep in my comfortable bed. It’s so very easy to think, “Yeah, I’ll do something about that tomorrow…” and then go back to my regular, complacent attitude.

When I looked at the tweet again during my prayer time this morning, I smiled to myself how very often Pope Francis tweets about themes that I pondered (and keep working at) in The Grace of Yes.  Where I needed a book to express my desire to live more generously in the world around me, Pope Francis can tweet in less than 70 characters and move the world.

I’ve been challenging myself to think about a few simple ways that I can be more generous today, Friday, August 28, 2015.

It seems to me that too often, we equate the word “generous” with financial matters. Just this morning, I had an email from someone inquiring about a “Grace of Yes” talk that I’ll be giving at a parish this Fall. She wrote me to ask if I would be doing “financial planning”. After laughing to myself at what a disaster that might be, I shared the following in my response to her:

My talk is for anyone, certainly any Christian for sure – and relates to trying to prayerfully discern and align ourselves with God’s will for our lives so that we can give God our best “Yes”. I believe when we do this, by the very nature of saying “Yes” to God, not only will we be blessed, but we’ll want to live more generously in the world around us. By “generosity” here, I’m not speaking of financial generosity (although for some of us that may be part of it). I’m speaking of living lives of loving and prayerful service in the world around us. We each have a unique and special calling from God. I believe we are each called to do amazing things, each of us according to our own gifts. My talk will be hopefully a motivational encouragement for each of us to listen for and to answer affirmatively God’s ongoing call in our lives. I won’t be discussing financial planning in any way, except to very briefly say that how we steward our financial gifts is an important component of our “Yes”. No financial “advice” will be be given.

But how easy it is to sit behind my keyboard and write about “generosity” and then say to myself, “I’m so busy today, Lord. I’ll be more generous tomorrow.”

Busted.

So today, I’m committing myself to three simple acts of generosity (defined by Merriam-Webster as “the quality of being kind, understanding, and not selfish”). Today I will:

  1. Fast from one meal and place the equivalent of what I would have spent on that meal into our parish collection for families in need on Sunday.
  2. Call a loved one for no reason and listen lovingly to them in conversation, without multitasking while I do it.
  3. Go out of my way to be present for someone I know is suffering and offer special prayers for that person today.

Is the world going to be dramatically changed by my small efforts to (as Pope Francis challenges) “always be generous”. Honestly, probably no one will even notice. But if we ALL commit to this–even if only to ONE act of simple generosity–things can and will change for the better. I’m challenging all of us, myself included, to stop waiting for an organization, a politician, or a business to change our world.

Let’s just do what Pope Francis asked us today. Let’s lovingly and more generously draw closer to those in need.

A question for you: What is one simple thing that you can do today to be a more generous person?

Copyright 2015 Lisa M. Hendey

Image credit: hannahpirnie, Pixabay

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About Author

Lisa M. Hendey is the founder and editor of CatholicMom.com and the bestselling author of the Chime Travelers children's fiction series, The Grace of Yes, The Handbook for Catholic Moms and A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms. As a board member and frequent host on KNXT Catholic Television, Lisa has produced and hosted multiple programs and has appeared on EWTN and CatholicTV. Hendey hosted “Catholic Moments” on Radio Maria and is the technology contributor for EWTN’s SonRise Morning Show. Lisa's articles have appeared in Catholic Digest, National Catholic Register, and Our Sunday Visitor. Hendey travels internationally giving workshops on faith, family, and Catholic technology and communications topics. She was selected as an Elizabeth Egan Journalism Fellow, attended the Vatican Bloggers Meeting, the “Bishops and Bloggers” meeting and has written internationally on the work of Catholic Relief Services and Unbound. Hendey lives with her family in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Visit Lisa at www.LisaHendey.com for information on her speaking schedule or to invite her to visit your group, parish or organization.

2 Comments

  1. I love that you focus on generosity of time and your heart, versus what you give financially. Good wants us all to be workers as well.

    Today, I am working at our church ministry fair. I had avoided signing up for anything because I am a “do everything” person, and I have been taped out with work lately. But my friend texted me late last night to see if I would step in at one Mass so she could be there for her daughter. How can you not?

    • Robbie, thanks for reading and commenting. Honestly, it’s little things like you stepping in that do make a difference. But you’re also wise to exercise “the grace of no” with prudence too!

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