Religious people are much more likely to donate to charities than non-religious, with donations to the Church and charities an integral component of spiritual practice. The Bible is filled with quotes such as “A generous person will prosper” (Proverbs 11:25). However, Jesus also said “your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you” (Matthew 6:4), which means that you may be unsure of how much you should be giving in order to be a good Catholic. Just how generous, is too generous?
Examine Your Own Finances
Giving money to worthy causes is an act of praise towards God, but it needn’t come at an unmanageable cost to yourself. Other acts of praise involve taking good care of the body He gifted to you and providing for your family. The amount you give is not important, but rather what is in your heart as you give it.
Once you have paid all your necessary expenses such as the bills and mortgage, put a little bit of money away in a savings account. If you are able to do all these things and still have disposable income, then you have been blessed by the Lord. The median American savings account contains around $5200, which is a good ballpark figure of how much you should strive to fulfil your obligations as a parent. If you have no money to provide for yourself and your family, then God will not expect you to give more than a few pennies towards charity.
Numbers 18:26 states that “When you receive from the Israelites the tithe I give you as your inheritance, you must present a tenth of that tithe as the Lord’s offering”. This has led to a tradition of Catholics donating 10% of their disposable income to their Church. In order to achieve this, set up a savings account dedicated to donations. You can start with just 1 or 2% if times are hard but increase this until you hit the Biblically recommended 10%.
Other Charitable Causes
The money you give to Church will be used for many good causes and accounts for a large percentage of social security funding. However, if you have the means you may want to donate to charitable causes yourself. This can be as part of the total 10% or added on top. The amount is less important than the charity you give to. Research the organization beforehand to make sure that the work they do is in line with Catholic teaching. For instance, cash will better serve God if directed towards an orphanage rather than a pro-abortion lobby.
A charitable donation is an important part of worshipping the Lord. However, it is not the amount that pleases Him, but your intentions to do good. 10% is traditional but feel comfortable adjusting this if you need the money to provide for your family’s needs, such as medical bills. As long as you act with true faith, then you are a good Catholic.