How To Give Alms While Social Distancing
For our ongoing series of Lenten practices, we will now discuss almsgiving. I know this is a scary environment right now to think about giving but we need to remember these Lenten penitential practices have great merit for us physically and spiritually.
The Catechism has this to say:
“The foundational call of Christians to charity is a frequent theme of the Gospels. During Lent, we are asked to focus more intently on “almsgiving,” which means donating money or goods to the poor and performing other acts of charity. As one of the three pillars of Lenten practice, almsgiving is “a witness to fraternal charity” and “a work of justice pleasing to God.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2462).
In this unique and anxiety-filled time in our history, it can feel frightening or even imprudent to give when we don’t know what is going to happen. Yet, as Christians, we are called to share what we have:
“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.” – 2 Corinthians 9:7-9
Maybe these ideas will help us during this crisis to decide on new or altered almsgiving practices:
- Ask your neighbors, especially if they are elderly, if they need anything during your next grocery run and buy it for them without expecting or accepting payback.
- Identify someone in your family or circle of influence who is out of work right now and offer to pay a bill for them (or give them the equivalent of the bill in cash.)
- Consider donating food or drink gift cards to local health care workers. They are putting in incredible hours, under great stress, and this small gesture can go a long way.
- Continue, as you are able, to support causes that matter to you. All charities will be dealing with the challenge of this crisis for months to come. If you are able to make a $100.00 gift, consider changing your strategy to $10.00 a month, so the not-for-profit will have a steady stream of donations for a few months.
Here at Integrity Restored, we are asking for your prayers and support. If you have the means during this difficult time, please consider supporting our ministry. Much of our income was derived from speaking engagements which are now canceled. We know this is the right decision, but the impact will be felt for some time. Your gift (particularly monthly) of any size will help us continue to serve those who need our help.