Almsgiving in one of the Church’s three pillars of Lent. As we journey through the forty days of discipline and penitential sacrifice that make up the liturgical season of Lent, we are encouraged to give of our material resources.
The almsgiving we practice in Lent is a way for us to detach from material things and renounce the false promises of security, power and happiness that can lead to sins of materialism. It is a sacrificial giving that reminds that all that have comes from God and only by offering it back to Him can we find true satisfaction.
But as we draw near to the days of the Via Dolorosa, and the hope of experiencing resurrection joy at Easter begins to peek around Lent’s corners, I would urge us to consider what effect our Lenten almsgiving will have as we move forward into this new season.
You see, the disciplined almsgiving of Lenten-tide is an opportunity for us to grow, to see the ways we have been lacking in generosity, the ways we have been apathetic to the needs of others, the ways we have forgotten altogether to make giving a priority in our Christian walk. In Lent, we give as a discipline; we reform ourselves in virtue through penitential sacrifice. We do so that when Easter arrives, our joy will be manifested in generous sharing born of the Good News of salvation.
Lenten almsgiving becomes Easter’s generous joy.
So in these last days of Lent as we approach the holiest days of our liturgical year, let’s consider what our almsgiving has taught us in this season and await with anticipation to convert that discipline into the virtue of joyful generosity.
To what or whom have you given more this Lenten season? What need has God placed on your heart and what has He asked you to do about it? What are the “peripheries” of your life, in the words of Pope Francis, where you can step in and make a difference with your time, skills, or material resources?
As a missionary serving among the poor in Central America, it is my hope that we as a Church remember the true purpose of our Lenten commitment to almsgiving: a transformation of our hearts to live a generous and joyful “alleluia” in Easter and beyond.
We here at Catholic Mom have talked a lot about saying “yes” this year, about being people who live generosity in all its unique facets. In April, we want offer you all a chance to join us in exercising our “yes” muscles as a community.
We will join the good folks over at Pure Charity to create a giving circle for Catholic Mom readers that will allow us to pool our resources, give as a community, and bless the work of some amazing organizations serving around the world and right in our backyards. By living a generous “yes” together, we can make our little home here on the net a shining light of Easter joy and Good News for those in need and for all of us.
The details of how to participate will follow next month, here at World View Wednesday and all around the site. But as Lent draws us near to the holy days of the passion, let us pray fervently together that the grace we have won in our Lenten almsgiving becomes an outpouring of generous joy this Easter season.
We can’t wait to see what April brings! How about you? Are you ready to say “yes” and live joyful generosity with us?
Copyright 2015 Colleen Mitchell.
Image copyright 2015 Colleen Mitchell. All rights reserved.