A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Giving More

Posted on: December 8, 2014

Although I write my own posts twice a week, I like to take the time to read some other blogs, including some faith-focussed ones.

One of several blogs I read regularly is 8 Kids And A Business. In her recent post on “Eight Strategies for a Calm, Fruitful Advent,” Terry commented on the importance of thinking of others who are struggling this season, ending the paragraph with these words: “Give your time, not just your resources.”

I think most of us receive a lot of donation requests in the mail at this time of year from the food bank, mission, and other local charities as well as international organizations. Many of these are too far away for us to support with anything other than cash donations and prayers.

But what about local organizations? Often there are requests in the city and community papers, as well as church bulletins, for volunteers to wrap gifts for charity, deliver food hampers, collect donations of food and toys, and so on. Do these groups struggle to find volunteers?

Christmas tree angel

The angel on our Christmas tree

It’s easy to give money if we have some to spare but harder to risk connecting personally with those in need—to overcome our shyness, fatigue, busy schedule, or even apathy.

Maybe this Advent season could be the time we take a chance to give something of ourselves. Maybe this could be the year we help deliver food hampers with our church group or transport shoppers’ donated canned goods to the food bank. Or collect donations of gently used winter clothing for shelters. Or send Christmas cards with a meaningful, personal note to our distant friends and relatives instead of a letter for everyone. Or help elderly neighbours get to appointments or run errands.

I pray that we would find some way, whether big or small, to give of ourselves this Advent season and, in so doing, to share God’s love with others.

If you wish to go to extremes, let it be in sweetness, patience, humility, and charity.

~ St. Philip Neri, quoted in “Quiet moments, daily inspiration, feasts, and fun for December,” Catholic Digest, December 2014

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Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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