By Becky Dhooghe
Where I grew up, the Catholic church was the most visible landmark in town, as is St. Patrick Church in Parsons. Both were built by hands – which laid bricks, installed windows, and loaded rock to take to town and place in the steeple.
Those hands folded to pray, hugged to comfort and encourage, placed hard earned money into the collection basket, bid welcome to Mass and, most importantly, held bread and wine that became the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
I’ve had many opportunities to use my hands at St. Patrick’s. The best days are those when I can come to Mass and when I spend time in adoration. No matter what’s happened or not happened in my life, I have never left the adoration chapel feeling the same as when I entered. That hour I use my hands to pray and offer the rosary truly changes me.
Another way I use my hands is through the blessing of tithing. I use the word blessing because it has been freeing for me. I always gave to the church but 10 years ago I began to tithe. It was scary and there were many Sundays when I thought I couldn’t afford it. I began to change how I planned my budget. Instead of tithing being third or lower on the budget, it moved closer to the top.
Now, the first item on my budget list is “church.” It’s a wonderful way to thank God for all the gifts he’s given and for the ability to use our hands.
Are you uncertain or even anxious about how you can steward your gifts? Come into the church and spend time looking at the crucifix, especially at our Lord’s hands. His hands are always open, waiting for us to come and love and serve him.