Tithing as a Way of Attuning to the Flow of God’s Grace
January 6, 2012
Here is a touching story from the life of Padre Pio.
Padre Pio built a hospital in a very poor region of Southern Italy. He was acquiring donations from many wealthy and poor individuals. The donation that most touched Padre Pio was from a poor widow. The donation was a 50 lire note, which was worth about 3 cents at the time. When she tried to give him the note he told her that she did not have to give anything. The woman insisted that she wanted to make the donation. So she tried to give Padre Pio the note but he still would not take it.
She insisted, saying that she could make small sacrifices. She could get a light from a neighbor for her lantern and her fire. Padre Pio insisted that she did not need to give. Then the woman told to Padre Pio that she understood — the amount she was giving was too small. This caused Padre Pio to weep and he told the woman to give him the donation immediately. He did not give the note to the hospital administrator — he kept it in his pocket as a remembrance of the spirit of the woman. He would often weep when he saw this note.
We don’t have to make grand gestures to get God’s attention. He watches our heart and the purity of our intentions. One of the great benefits of tithing is that it helps cultivate a spirit of generosity. If we want to increase the flow of money into our lives, we need to put out energy — but without any thought about what we will receive in return. This energy, if given purely and with a spirit of generosity will attract new opportunities.
In Affirmations for Self-Healing Swami Kriyananda states on the topic of generosity:
Most people think of generosity as merely the giving of material benefits to others. More important, however, and much more satisfying is a generous spirit: a willingness to let the other person shine, even if it means being eclipsed oneself; a happiness in his good fortune, even if it means personal loss for oneself; a concern for his safety, even if, in an accident, one’s own property has been destroyed.
Generosity means, above all, recognizing that everything we have and are belongs to God alone, and is His to dispose of where He will.
The secret to all that we seek lies in forgetting ourselves and remembering ever more deeply, that there is an underlying loving consciousness in all of creation that is always supporting us. God’s grace is there if we are but receptive to it. Giving makes us more receptive.
I came across an old quote from a fellow tither:
Tithing has always been a challenge for me. It’s not the attachment to money—I never have minded giving it away. But something about the idea of giving it away with the expectation that it would insure future prosperity always bothered me. I think I’d received one too many chain letters promising untold wealth if you continued the chain and fearful disasters if you broke it, and that colored my thinking. Then I realized that if I thought of tithing as a way of attuning myself to the flow of God’s grace, I could feel deep inspiration without wondering if I was bartering with God. And as I look back on my life, I realize that there has never been even a moment when that grace was lacking.
May the light of the God’s consciousness fill your being with His ever-new joy!
For Ananda’s “Thank You God” Tithing