Giving the Best of Ourselves

Posted at Catholic Insight

helping handOur parish just finished Bundle Sunday Weekend, our annual Fall round-up of gently used clothing and small appliances that are collected and donated to the St. Vincent de Paul Society. With six of my eight children still living at home, Bundle Sunday is an event at our house. About two weeks before the collection date, I instruct my husband and children to take everything that doesn’t fit or that they no longer want to wear and put them into designated oversized green garbage bags. We easily fill seven bags.

I often don’t check the quality of the clothing in the bags. When we hand them over to the St. Vincent de Paul volunteers I feel some uneasiness because I wonder how  many of our donated items are in such poor condition that no one should wear them.  And sometimes I keep items of clothing that know I will no longer wear just because they are still in good condition and I don’t want to part with them. Do you do the same thing?

Recently, the Sunday homily was about giving Caesar what belongs to Caesar and giving God what belongs to God. We give God ourselves because we belong to Him. But like the worn out, damaged clothing we give away although no one should wear them, how often do we give God our second best? How often do we rush through our prayers or begrudgingly give our time and ability. And like the unused items we can’t part with, how often do we give only from our surplus and say no when we can say yes?

When I reluctantly share my time and gifts, I feel a sense of dissatisfaction, as if I should have done better and given more of myself. But when I give 100% of myself, even to the point of exhaustion, I have a sense of joy and gratitude that I was given the gift of making a difference in the life of another person.

Jesus admonished us: “give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap, for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.” (Luke 6:38)

Life is for sharing and giving, for loving and squeezing out every last drop of the time and gifts that God has given us. In other words, life is about a complete sacrifice of ourselves wherever God has placed us, doing all things well for love of Him.  It isn’t for keeping the very best for ourselves, or holding back and sharing only that which we don’t need or want.

And so for today and every day, be a generous giver. “May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.” (St. Teresa of Avila)

Photo: Helping Hands by Anita Patterson. Under a MorgueFile license.

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3 Responses to Giving the Best of Ourselves

  1. SaintlySages says:

    Walking into a St Vincent de Paul shop is sometimes like coming home 😉 God bless!

  2. SR says:

    Hey 8 Kids,
    Great post! You know I came across someone in need yesterday, by accident. It was someone I know. I did not know they had hit on hard times. I was very busy yesterday and was busy at the time I found out. When I finally caught my breath, it was like the Holy Spirit swooped in on me and said, “What are you going to do, for L?”

    You know Terry it dawned on me, “I HAD DONE NOTHING!” I walked away from her not even offering her a “place to lay her head!” I knew what she needed and right away called her and began gathering what I had. (Not to toot my horn, for if the Lord had not reminded me of my lack of compassion it would have never of come.)

    This post reminded me of that. It is not only about what we “reluctantly give,” but also about when we can walk away and give nothing at all!!!!! Either one of these examples is a failure to show Christ to others. I said, “No,” when I could have said, “Yes.”

    Just as suffering comes with being a Christian, so does giving. Jesus gave to us His “best,” which was His very life. Who are we to hang onto a blouse we think we cannot part with??? Good thought provoking post. God Bless, SR

    • If we’re honest with ourselves, I think we have all done the same thing – walked away and did nothing. Thank God that He prompts us and gives us many chances to repair our mistakes. Thanks, SR.

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