Give Away Something You Like
Giving away clothes and toys to charity is a good way to practice almsgiving. But just giving away things we don’t want or use anymore can be more like an act of closet cleaning than an act of sacrifice. So when you are gathering your items to give to charity consider including at least one item you use frequently and enjoy. And don’t go out and replace it right away.
This can be especially powerful when done with children or teenagers. It is a good way to teach young Catholics to be less attached to material goods and give to charity. Hopefully they can experience a sense of freedom which comes from giving something significant.
The Story of the Widow’s Mite
Take the time to read the story of the poor widow together before deciding what to give to charity. Discuss how this relates to giving away something you like and use.
The Poor Widow’s Contribution – When he looked up he saw some wealthy people putting their offerings into the treasury and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins. He said, “I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.” – Luke 21:1-4
This is a tangible way to make our offerings. It can be used for many different types of offerings:
- Monetary offerings, especially for money saved from fasting
- Small sacrifices made during the day
- Prayers offered
- Offerings of service or good deeds
The gospels show us that Jesus reached out to those in need. His life is a model for how we should interact with others. One way to do this is through the Corporal Works of Mercy. Consider looking at these and doing one with the Catholic youth in your life.
Pope Francis asks us to emulate the “poor and generous widow as the model of Christian life.”