On Stewardship and the Orthodox Life - Part 124: The Best Thanksgiving is Giving (12/11/16)

“If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs..” Rudyard Kipling

 Fr. Robert Holet in his book, The First and Finest, states that “Stewardship is a response to God in thanksgiving.”  We hear the aphorism “it is better to give than to receive.”  Research has shown that people that practice giving, are reported to have greater health, more happiness and joy and less feeling of stress.  Another recent study indicated that giving a meaningful gift to one in need provides much more satisfaction than giving to masses.  Mother Theresa once said, “If I look at the mass, I will never act.  If I look at an individual, I will.”

Archpriest George Morelli, Chairman of the Antiochian Archdiocese Department of Chaplain and Pastoral Counseling, in one of his many articles, tells us that “The Christian theology of giving is profound.”  It is the imitation of God.  God gives continually and equally to all according to their needs.  Are we not to imitate God?  Are we not to give to others in need, in love and thanksgiving for what God has given us?  “The lesson for giving is for us to see God in individual persons,’ Morelli tells us.

During this Advent season, when most of the secular world looks to giving insignificant gifts, why not give the gift of the Gospel, Orthodoxy.  Archimandrite Zacharias in his book, Remember Thy First Love, tells us that the Fathers of the fourth century, a time when the Church blossomed greatly, states that Christians in the last times will neither have strength to endure ascetic hardship nor be able to perform the godly works of the fathers of old but those “who succeeded simply in keeping the faith would be more glorified in heaven than those Fathers who worked miracles and even raised the dead to life.”

As the Archimandrite states, “We see that God judges us with respect to the generation in which we live.”  Let our generation be the one that preserves and expounds the faith of our Fathers when all around us exhibits apostasy.  Let us use our gifts that God has given us to preserve the fullness of our faith that our Fathers have given us.

This weekly series of brief thoughts on stewardship and Orthodox life is brought to you by your Diocesan Stewardship Commission.

Mark Your Calendar Now for the 2nd annual Stewardship Retreat will be held September 22-24, 2017.

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