Tithing

As expressed in the Precepts of the Church, Catholics are obliged in conscience to contribute to the support of the Church. A “tithe” is an offering rendered as a sacrifice to God; the word sacrifice comes from the Latin words meaning “to make holy” by dedicating some good or setting it apart for God’s service. The word tithe in the Bible originally signified ten percent (10%). The tithe, however, is only a barometer or guideline to help determine one’s sacrificial giving. Some who earn far more than they need can and should offer more than a 10% tithe; others may have circumstances that warrant them paying less than a 10% tithe.

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If a tithe (10%) is honestly too much for one’s current budget, a member may begin with a lower percentage which will be both sacrificial and yet possible. Then the member may gradually raise the level of giving until the full tithe is reached.

Families should involve their children in tithing by teaching them through word and by example the priority of returning to God a portion of the blessing He has given us. Children may do this through tithing their allowances or income from part time jobs.

Those faithful Christians who do tithe (give sacrificially) report how remarkably their material needs have been met. Moreover, they will cite these blessings as even greater, spiritual rewards.

  • reparation for past sins, especially selfishness and pride and scandal
  • sense of serenity and satisfaction that comes from a spirit of generosity
  • an awareness that God’s service comes first, also in decisions about money
  • a conscious decision to overcome the practice of making contributions that are mere “leftovers” or contributions given routinely out of mere habit
  • a deep sense of satisfaction in the progress made by the Church due to giving by its members
  • an ability to distinguish between mere empty or selfish desires and genuine needs
  • a cautious awareness of the world’s and in particular, our society’s materialism
  • a keener appreciation for the blessings we have received
  • an acknowledgment of the pain of poverty for many people in the world
  • the gain for ourselves of a serene confidence in Our Lord’s protective care and Providence.