Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Lent: Instead of Giving Up…

Why not think about giving to? I don’t know about your experiences, but it wasn’t until I was well into adulthood (and we do mean well into it) that I learned that Lent was really about more than “giving up stuff.” Oh, of course, the Church always had those instructions about fasting, prayer, doing good deeds, and almsgiving…but let's face it, we always put something in the collection basket, and in my more recent years I’ve been very conscious of trying to actually tithe (by the numbers, even). So I had to wonder how much more the Church would expect me to give in terms of alms, as opposed to supporting the ever-expanding needs of a family. And, I must admit, my almsgiving has been rather spare only in that I want to be sure whom I’m giving to in the first place. Yeah, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer foundation sounds like a real good, wholesome place to contribute to…until you find out its link to Planned Parenthood is almost incestuous. Yeah, things like the Red Cross and United Way have their places, as long as you can pick and choose to some extent where your money’s going to go (in our particular instance here, United Way does not support Planned Parenthood or any other “reproductive freedom” type agendas, but that’s not the case everywhere!). The Salvation Army’s a good bet…but at least part of the almsgiving I want to do, as a Catholic, I’d like to at least see go to Catholic organizations. Catholic Charities (in most instances) is a fine alternative—but we all know there are more than enough causes out there that need contributions. So what are some of the alternatives? Maybe some really wonderful places and causes off the beaten path? Well, I found a good one. And especially for Lent—in celebration of our new resurrected lives to come, as much as anything—I think this would be an awesome place to think about giving a few extra pennies. Take a look at this homey place In future days, I’ll try to cover a few more places I think might be good to send one’s extra “alms” to—everything from an animal shelter or two to supporting good Catholic/Christian media. But we all start somewhere, and this place is just far enough under the radar that I think it deserves some attention. Happy giving! Janny

2 comments:

Donna Alice said...

An excellent idea! In fact, I have one friend who uses each day of Lent to GIVE of herself by sending an actual handwritten card or letter to a shut in. I have also tried for myself to "declutter" house, self, etc. by giving away things like extra clothes, food or time to others.
Sorry I haven't commented in awhile--I went to a super writing conference in Atlanta--thanks to a GIFT from someone at my church. Hm, maybe they read your blog.

Janny said...

LOL! If they read this, I hope they make themselves known! Thanks for the input...

Janny