Tithing is essential to the Christian life

Various Charity Week kiosks gave students the opportunity to donate to charity. Photo of Emily Ashman

The tradition of Charity Week is a fine example of selfless giving combined with endless pleasure. However, while many students have no problem paying a dollar to get out of the classroom, this generosity in giving seems to last for the duration of charity week – and not much longer.

When it comes to donating, whether through tithing or donations to other charitable institutions, students are not doing enough.

Often my first thought when I tithe in church is, “I can’t give money. I’m in highschool! I’m broke! ”And while that is true – I’m in college and indeed broke – giving is not about how much we give as much as whether we give anything.

“There is often a long line at Cap Bar, and people seem to be able to buy beer at the PDK,” said Father Joseph Paul Albin when asked to donate among the students.

“I don’t expect anyone to be hungry for charitable giving, but there is something about giving that is necessarily Christian, that is historically tied to tradition. Giving, even if you only have a small amount, is worth it.

Like the widow with her two pieces, we are called to give up what we can and trust God to provide for the rest. Donating, even a little per week, allows us to offer God what he has chosen to bless us.

Without it, it is easy to fall into the trap of valuing our bank accounts at the expense of God’s graces. The money we earn is not ours. I feel like I often forget it.

As Fr. Albin said: “There is a way that all we have is a gift, and if we forget that all we have is a gift, then we start to claim it as our own. When we tithe we are reminded that the mission of the church is much greater than us. It also reminds us that we are not just our bank accounts.

Freshman Thérèse Castillo describes what pushed her towards giving and how she does it. “I really felt called to donate to a crisis pregnancy center or Catholic charities, with whatever is going on with the heartbeat bill,” Castillo said.

“I felt like the next step in the pro-life movement for me was to try and donate. I opened my account with Catholic Charities of Dallas. It’s a small amount that I can contribute, but I know it goes to diapers and parenting classes.

Even so, many of us still find ourselves in positions where we cannot easily give money. In this case, it does not entirely exempt us from making a gift, but rather it is God who calls us to make gifts of another nature.

“The mission of the Church is something in which you participate both spiritually but also with your firstfruits, whether it be time, treasure or talent”, declared Fr. Albin. “If you don’t give now because you have nothing, when do you have enough for Jesus? ”

Besides financial donations, many students find ways to donate their time and talents instead. Mackenzie Kannapel describes the ways she gives of her time to others. “A lot of the ways I give are through my time,” Kannapel said. “I don’t always give financially, but I try to volunteer when I can. I know that if I am giving my first fruits to the people around me, it is just as important.

As college students, it’s easy to dismiss giving and tithing as something we can’t afford financially. University is expensive, no doubt, but it is no excuse for selfishness rather than charity.

We are called to live a life of giving and we must recognize the ways in which we can do this in our day to day life. The donation shouldn’t be limited to Charity Week. Whether it is our time, our talent or our treasures, nothing that we can offer to God is too small in his eyes.

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