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One of my personal campaigns is to see the proceeds of the sale of the property of our former Church, Blessed Trinity, go to the poor and needy in the North Central neighborhood where it is existed. Now that the sale of the properties is complete giving the money to service those in need in the area is not so simple. A new Catholic Church owns the sale proceeds and it itself is joining forces with another Church even further away from the neighborhood of the original Church that was created back in 1897. Some on the parish council member think they are the ‘decision makers’ but in the reality of Church law is they are only a ‘consultative’. As I mentioned in last night’s posting the Corporation Board of the parish which the Archbishop is President, the Pastor and Vicar General (clergy) and two lay trustees make all major financial decisions.
Today I received a quote from a fifth century monk’s sermon about how to give. I will need to past this on to the parish council and Corporation Board and it makes sense for all of us who try to follow Christ command to give whatever we can to the poor and needy.
God accepts our offerings of money and is pleased with the gifts we make to the poor, but on one condition: that every sinner, when offering God his money, should offer him his soul at the same time… When our Lord says: “Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God” (Mk 12, 17), what does he seem to say but: “Just as you repay Caesar with his own image on a coin so repay God with the image of God within yourselves” (cf. Gn 1, 26)…
That is why, as we have already said on numerous occasions, when we hand out money to the poor let us offer our souls to God so that, where our treasure is, there our heart may also be. Indeed, why does God ask us to give money? Unquestionably because he knows the special love we have for it, that we are always thinking about it and that, where our money is, there too is our heart. That is why God urges us to make up our treasure in heaven by making gifts of it to the poor; it is so that our hearts may follow where we have already sent our treasure and that, when the priest says: “Lift up your hearts” we may answer with peaceful conscience: “We lift them up to the Lord.” — Saint Caesarius of Arles (470–543), monk and bishop, Sermon 32, 1–3; SC 243