ASK FATHER: Material support to groups and expecting nothing in return

From a reader…


First, thank you for everything that you do in Our Lord’s Vineyard.

Your website is greatly beneficial for myself and countless others.

I was wondering, could one’s tithing count towards purchasing items made by monks or nun, i.e. the Benedictines of Norcia’s heavenly birra nursia & the ever invigorating Mystic Monk coffee; or would one need to ensure that tithing only goes *strictly* towards benefitting the Church, without getting anything in return?

I am glad you are trying to be diligent concerning our obligation to give material support to the Church.  This is one of the Commadments of the Church and it must be respected and followed.

There are different ways to contribute.  Some people have skills they can offer, some have time and elbow grease, some have money.

While it is good to support the monks and the nuns (and please use my links!) it is also a matter of justice to give support to the parish where you receive religious services.  If you go to Mass at a church, you receive a service.  They have bills to pay so that you can walk through their open doors and have light and heat or AC and a Mass to participate in.  It is a matter of justice for us to support those places whence we receive services.  (I might include blogs, btw.)

Without getting anything in return?  That is another matter.  There is nothing wrong with giving to support a good cause and getting nothing in return.  That is the essence of charity.  It is within your means to send money to a group or good cause, by all means do so.  It is okay to get something in return, for example, a document for your taxes.  (Think TMSM!)

These days it can be hard to know where to contribute.  From time to time I offer some ideas.  However, remember that it is a matter of justice to help out the church where you receive most of your services.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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