Pillars of Stewardship
It is through prayer that we nurture our personal relationship with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. When we are with people we love and care about, we enjoy conversing with them. It is how we build relationships. It is how we get to know and trust one another.
So it is with our relationship with God. To know and trust Him we must begin and end everything in prayer, our day, our night, our meals, our meetings, big decisions, little decisions, good times and especially bad times. To do this it takes commitment. Are you committed to prayer?
Prayer is based on your relationship with God and trust in God. Would you ask a stranger for a loan? I hope not. Would you ask your dad? Probably so, because of your relationship and trust; they are the key. It is the same way with God, only you must always pray for His will for you, not yours. He knows each of us, “I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me” (John 10:14-15). We are so limited in our knowledge and understanding. However, God’s knowledge and understanding is unlimited. What happens or what is best for us in the course of life is something only He knows. His purposes may be far beyond what we could even imagine. Where we trip up is assuming we know God's will. Trust in God and trust in your relationship with God.
We have been given many different ways to pray, no one way is better than the other, maybe just more comfortable. Have you found a way to pray?
In both our personal and communal prayer, we turn toward God to properly discern our talents and gifts. In our response as stewards, we place those talents and gifts at the service of God and one another. "Thy Will be done" is at the heart of our prayers.
- Did you know the Church is open everyday and you do not have to have a scheduled time to go?
- Did you know we have a Rosary Group that meets every Monday evening at 6:30 in the church?
- Did you know there is an opportunity for confession every Saturday from 4:30 to 5:00 in the church?
- Did you know that Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is offered every Thursday morning from 7:30-10:00 AM?
- Did you know that we have Holy Hour in the Church every Thursday from 5-7PM where you can come and spend quiet time with your Lord?
- Do you pray at dinnertime?
- Do you pray at bedtime?
- Do your children see you pray?
- Do you give thanks to God?
Are you a person of prayer? If you want to develop a closer relationship with God start with prayer. If you are not sure where to begin your stewardship journey, start with prayer. If you are too tired, pray for rest. If you are too busy, pray for a break. If you feel unworthy, pray for strength. If you don’t know how to pray, pray for guidance. The list could and does go on and on. Begin by trusting and believing. God will provide in ways far beyond what you imagine possible. Just Begin!
Prayer of St. Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
“When I was a stranger, you welcomed me” (Matthew 25:35).
The Gospel teaches that whenever we welcome the least of our brothers or sisters, we welcome Christ himself. That is why an important mark of a stewardship parish is hospitality. Being friendly is one of the first ways we can be Christ-like toward others.
Modern society is more transient today than ever before. Catholic parishes are often large and have so many Masses that many parishioners don’t get an opportunity to get to know one another. To create a sense of community, be sure to smile and greet others as you enter and leave the church. If you see someone you have not seen before introduce yourself and welcome newcomers. Ask how you can be of assistance to new families joining our community. Let’s try harder than ever to be a welcoming community!
“Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing” -Mother Teresa
- Do you like to meet people?
- Do you know we have a Hospitality Team at our parish?
- Are you available to be a Greeter before and after Mass?
- Can you help out at social events?
Pope John Paul II always emphasized ongoing conversion. Our whole life is a journey and must be a process of learning as we are drawn closer to God. We are called to challenge ourselves so we can grow deeper in our faith and in our relationship with God.
Our society puts a lot of value on the material things of our world. But personal experience shows, when we finally acquire the car or house or “must have toy” that we saved for and wanted so badly, it doesn’t really satisfy. Deep down we yearn for a closer relationship with God. When we actively seek out God, when we spend time developing knowledge of our faith, we find we are far more at peace than any reward material things can give.
We have a responsibility to our children during their faith formation years. We must show by example just how important God and our faith is in our own lives.
- Have you considered joining a Bible Study or Prayer Group?
- Can you spend time before the Blessed Sacrament during Adoration?
- Do you take advantage of the many Catholic web sites available?
- Do you attend Parish Missions?
- Having you considered making a Retreat?
- Do you have a list of Catholic books among your reading materials?
Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.
- St. Teresa of Avila
“Amen I say to you, whatever you did to the least of my brothers, you did it to me” (Matthew 25:40).
If we were to think a moment about a true example of Christian Stewardship, surely Mother Teresa would immediately come to mind. Each time she picked up a poor and hungry child, she knew she was ministering to Christ. While we may not view ourselves as saints, we too are called to service. We do not need to go far afield to put our stewardship service into action; we can help right within our own community. As Mother Teresa said, “To be a saint is not the privilege of a few, but the duty of everyone.”
We have many service opportunities right here within our own parish. If you have the willingness to serve and take the initiative to find where you are needed, you’ll find that there is no end to the families and individuals who truly need help.
- “In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love” - Mother Teresa
- Do you have time available to visit the homebound?
- Can you bring Holy Communion to the sick?
- Could you drive someone in need to a doctor’s appointment?
- Could you pick up groceries for an elderly or infirm neighbor?
- Could you help a young family out by offering to baby-sit in emergencies?
- Could you join and help the St. Vincent de Paul Society in their work?
- Can you help with maintenance projects around the parish?
As you delve deeper into your faith, as you grow in knowledge and stewardship you will find a peace like nothing in this world can give you.
Our prayer for you is that as you continue your journey though life, you will experience the joy and peace that only knowing and growing closer to God and doing His work can give you.