From a reader:
I experienced something today at Mass I’ve never experienced before.
When the collection basket got passed around and I put nothing in, the lady sitting next to me “tsk’d” me.
I’m a student with no money, and I just finally got a job making minimum wage. I’m expected to save the money I make during summer for school, so I live very frugally during the summer. Granted, I don’t look poor because I’ve learned how to look presentable on a low budget, so she likely wouldn’t have known.
This left me wondering just what my financial responsibilities are to my parish when I’m literally nickel and diming it every month? Also, because I live at home right now, and still registered under my family’s address and name, does their monthly lump sum offering cover me as well, even though we attend different Mass times?
I suppose it was not the best moment loudly to tell the nosy old trout to mind her own business.
We have all at one point or another not been able to be as generous as we would prefer, when it comes to the obligation to see to the material support of the Church.
It seems to me that at a certain age you begin to contribute your own contributions.
But perhaps it might be helpful to remember that we can contribute on more ways than simply by giving money. Sometimes we talk about supporting parishes through
- and Treasure
If you are not able to give money at the moment, perhaps there are other ways to help around the place, ways to get involved.
In the meantime, if you had more disposable cash, you could print some cards saying something like:
“Congratulations, you just committed the sin of rash judgment. Furthermore, in your desire to feel morally superior, like the Pharisee praying in the temple, you may also have also scandalized your neighbor. Since you are probably closer to the end of your life than its beginning, do confess these things as soon as possible. And if you can’t pay attention to MASS during Mass, at least mind your own business instead of everyone elses. Have a nice day!”
And put a little smiley face on the card, and maybe some daisies.
I hope people understand that I was being somewhat satirical to make a point. I am not advocating actually giving people cards like that, which is fraught with its own problems in the realm of fraternal correction.