As Catholics, we believe that all we have was given to us by God. And as we have been given gifts by God, we are called to share those gifts with others. But too often, we can view the giving of our time, talent, and treasure as sacrifice and struggle rather than as freedom and grace.
Father Paul Cannariato stopped by Morning Air® to explain why there is a special grace in living a life of stewardship.
“I think sometimes in my own life that I am so blessed, that God has blessed me so much, so abundantly, and I want to share, I want to give of myself,” he said. “I want to give of the abundance that the Lord has been so good to me in my life. He has been so good to me in my life, He has given me so many things that I want to give some of that goodness away to others – my time, my talent, and even my treasure. To be free to be able to do that is a great grace.”
But sometimes fear can get in the way of our spirit of stewardship. We fear that if we give something of ourselves we will be lacking or not have enough, and so we hoard our gifts. Fr. Cannariato encouraged listeners to ask for the grace to see that what they have been given belongs to God, and is best used when we are using them to give Him glory.
“When the spirit of God moves within us we can overcome any human fear, any human anxiety, and speak from the truth of our convictions that the Word of God is alive, and living, and powerful,” Fr. Cannariato said. “That desire to proclaim the Word is a great grace. God can stir that up in us, but we need to pray and ask God to help us overcome our fears, our shyness, and our anxieties.”
“Sometimes we have to confront that illusion that everything belongs to us, and that can be a disappointment to some,” he continued. “But we experience that conversion of heart in ourselves, and we come to realize that everything doesn’t belong to me, everything belongs to God. And when you realize that there is a wonderful freedom that comes – to give away your time, to give away your talents, to share with others, to do the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.
As St. Paul said to the Corinthians, God is able to make every grace abundant for you, so that in all things, always having all you need, you may have an abundance for every good work. Fr. Cannariato reminded us that when it comes to stewardship, the Lord will not be outdone in generosity.
“I believe the Lord blesses us abundantly when we give of ourselves freely,” he said. “But for some it takes time to come to realize and not the be afraid to give, but to realize that if I give God is going to bless me, God is going to take care of me, and God is going to provide for everything I need. Because God is faithful and He honors us when we give of ourselves so generously.”
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Listen to the full conversation with Fr. Paul Cannariato below: