MANILA, Oct. 6, 2013—Giving is an act that must be born out of love for without the willingness that springs from the heart, the act of sharing one’s blessings loses its true essence, a priest said.
Fr. Anton C. T. Pascual said that like Christ who sacrificed his life out of love, the faithful must also be propelled by love in sharing the blessings that they have.
“Christ sacrificed His life because of love. This is also how our spirituality of giving should be. We should not give just because we have a personal interest to fulfill. When we give, it should be out of love,” he said in his talk during Caritas Manila’s Generosity Conference held last September 28 at the San Carlos Seminary.
“Even if you give all your riches, if it is not born out of love, it still remains senseless. That is how strict the word of God is. Do not give if it is not love that propels your act,” he added.
Pascual noted that tithing or sharing a definite portion of one’s wealth to the church is the way of God to mold people in His own image and likeness.
“Giving is not the way of God to raise money. The reason why we are asked to give is for us to grow in the person of Christ,” he said.
The priest also called on the faithful not to be lured by the appeal of wealth and riches, noting that the excessive inclination to earthly riches causes one’s heart to be numb.
“Mammonolatry pertains to one’s idolatry of money. This disease makes people numb that even if they are being asked to help others, they do not do so for money has made them so numb,” he said.
“If you follow the Lord, He will bless you with all your needs, but not necessarily all your wants,” he added.
Tithing as ‘test of faith’
Financial coach Christian Roman said the only way to open oneself to acts of generosity is to recognize Christ as the source of every blessing.
“We will only feel true prosperity in our lives if we will not be close-fisted when giving help to others,” he said. “The more you give, the more you experience the joy of giving.”
Roman stressed that biblical tithing is an act that must be born out of love and charity.
“Is tithing for today? No if it is a forced action, but yes if it is born out of an active response coming from one’s heart,” he said.
“God wants us to live in prosperity, which means having sufficiency in all your needs and having what you need when you need it,” he added. (Jennifer Orillaza)