I had an awakening at Mass today.  Not sure if it was the homily, the readings, or just the Holy Spirit, but I realized that I was allowing worldly things to affect my spiritual decisions.  Specifically, in how I give.  Mind you, I have no problem contributing to the financial health of our parish.  I give weekly and don't think twice about it.  However, we're given the option to distribute how our weekly contribution is used.  We can choose to give to the parish in general, world need specifcially, or "Adopt a Student" specifically. 

Additionally, I've had some issues with the leadership in our parish and how some of my friends have been treated.  I do hold specific leaders responsible for failing to truly lead the congregation.  I'm convinced that while some of these leaders may think they're doing what's best for the parish, they're really focusing on their wants and needs instead.  I've also had some issues with how some things in the diocese are run.  I've had a real problem with our annual Catholic Ministries Appeal and how if we don't raise the money to hit the Bishop gives, it comes out of our general fund, basically amounting to a tax on our parish to be part of the Diocese.

It occured to me today that I'd been holding my giving hostage to my ill feelings on these issues, give to World Need instead of the parish and giving not at all to the Catholic Ministries Appeal.  I'm trying to make the Church (or parish) conform to my desires instead of using my treasure to benefit God and the community.  While accusing others of being selfish, I too was acting selfishly, and perhaps a little childishly.  Give me what I want or I won't give you any money.  That is such a poor reason.  So I've decided to simply give and not worry about the rest.  I'll place my trust in God that my gifts will be used to benefit those that need it and further His work. 

I've come to realize lately that there really are evil spirits in the world, and many of them are not the classic demons that "possess" you like in The Exorcist.  These demons are more incidious, like anger, hate, stinginess, and selfishness.  These kinds of demons and evil spirits are more incideous than your traditional demon because they're so subtle.  They can get in the way of a true relationship with God by chipping away at need to give up your desires and focus on the desires of God instead.  And I've come to realize that true peace and happiness only come from serving God and not ourselves.  So I'm working hard to exorcise the demons in my life right now.  Pray that the Lord helps me do so.


Jude said…
I respect and understand your decision to give and have faith it will go where needed. That's a good way to do it Vince!
sydwynd said…
Jude: I'm trying. Letting God do the work is challenging as we always want to be in control and do things ourselves.

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