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February 16, 1990     The Message
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February 16, 1990
 

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4 The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana February 16, 1990 I III Ti Putting money and worldly goods into the proper perspective in life One Sunday at Mass about 15 years ago our pastor gave an unusual homily. In it he talked about the joy of tithing. Since I was unable to fully com- prehend the message and was accustomed to ignoring any "money talks," I listened in a very detached manner. Two things I did remember were that the pastor himself practiced tithing and that if any parishioner tithed for one year and was not better off at the end of that year, he would refund all the money. For the next 10 years the sub- ject of tithing never entered my mind. Then about five years ago I was asked and consented to participate in a fund raising ac- tivity. In the course of planning the event I discovered that three of the individuals who were working with me practiced tithing. They related how they had taken the pastor's words to heart and how tithing had solv- ed their financial problems. Upon hearing this I was in- credulous and felt a little guilty because one of those families was much less well off than mine. Some time later the sub- 2 Continued Item page 5 hospital and require the presence of two doctors, one to be responsible for the child if it is born alive. Although few babies survive prior to the 23rd week of gestation, both the possibility of error in calculating the gestational age and developing technology to improve the chances of sur- vival, warrant testing at 20 weeks. Supporters testified that the ultrasound test is routinely performed and would not significantly increase the cost of abortions. The bill would exempt abor- Parish mission in Haubstadt Parishioners at Sts. Peter and Paul Church, Haubstadt, are be- ing invited to a parish mission, from Feb. 17 through Feb. 25. Father Lowell Will, pastor, has written his parishioners to per- sonally invite them to attend the mission which he described as "a time of faith renewal." Directing the mission will be Vincentian Father Richard O'Brien from Kansas City, Me. Father O'Brien will speak at all the Masses on Feb. 17 and 18, and again on Feb. 24 and 25. In addition to the usual 8:30 a.m. weekday Mass, Masses will be celebrated Monday through Friday at 7 p.m. The sacrameats will be the topics of the weekday evening Masses, with a Penance service planned on Wednesday and an Annoin- ring of the Sick within Mass on Saturday morning, Feb. 24. Social gatherings are planned each weekday evening after Mass; a reception will be held in the rectory Friday night. Father Will said that he wanted especially to invite in- active and less active Catholics those who have been away from the parish community life for some time -- to attend the misson. ject of tithing came up again during a prayer group session. A memher of our parish told how as a newly married couple she and her husband were hav- ing financical difficulties. After exhausting all other possibilities, they started to tithe. After about a year their financial troubles vanished, and they have been tithing ever since (in excess of twenty years). After hearing about the good news of tithing, my wife and I decided to try it. Not knowing how to start, we asked the ad- vice of a friend who was tithing. He said the best way to start is to first see where you are in your giving by calculating charitable contributions as a percentage of your gross in- come. After establishing that as the base year simply increase your contribution by one per cent each year until it is 10 per cent of your gross income. It sounded simple, but simple things are usually hard. Upon performing the calculation we found that our total contribu- tions were five per cent of our gross income. Five years later we had reached 10 per cent and were surprised and elated that everything people said about tithing was true. One thing it does is solve your money problems and most importantly your money wor- ries. I haven't the faintest idea how this works or why it works, but it does. One friend tried to explain it by saying that it makes you a better budgeter. Another said it gives you a sense of security because you can always stop and get an ins- tant 10 per cent increase in your pay. These are guesses at best, because no one really knows why it works. Another thing it does is to put money and worldly goods into their proper perspective in your life. These things just shrink in importance. The urge to buy lottery tickets just isn't there. The desire to spend money diminishes. And most of all you can be truly happy for another person's good fortune without thinking, "Why couldn't it have happened to me?" Tithing is a freeing ex i i tions to save the life of the mother, or to prevent perma- nent impairment of her physical health, as well as vic- tims of rape or incest. It also ex- empts the Indiana University teaching hospital. Members of the Senate Public Policy Committee voting to support HB 1134 included Senators Corcoran, Thomas Wyss (R-Fort Wayne), Joseph O'Day (D-Evansville), Richard Young (D-Milltown), Steven Johnson (R-Kokomo), Robert Meeks (R-LaGrange), Marvin Riegsecker (R-Goshen), Allie Craycraft (D-Selma) and Katie Wolf (D-Monticello). Opposing HB 1134 were Senators William Soards (R- FOR COMPLETE ELECTRICAL SERVICE FISCHER ELECTRIC INC. RT. 1 ST. ANTHONY Indianapolis), William Vobach (R-Indianapolis) and Julia Car- ' son (D-Indianpolis). Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee who sup- ported HB 1034 included Senators Edward Pease (R- Brazil), Joseph Zakas (R- Granger), Thomas Weatherwax (R-Logansport), John Bushemi (D-Gary), Sue Landske (R-Cedar Lake), Richard Worman (R-Leo) and William Alexa (D- Valparaiso). Opposing the bill were Senators William Soards (R- Indianpolis), William Vobach (R-Indianpolis), Anthony Maidenberg (D-Marion), Robert Hellmann (D-Term Haute) and Maurice Doll (D-Vincennes). i]lll American National Bank Bicknell - Sandborn Vincennes Drive-in Facilities - Member F.D.I.C. A Full Service Bank i i I III GREENE INSURA00qCE, INC,. "Committed To Semring You" 304 E. VanTrees 254-5768 Washington Funer_al H0mes Four Convenient Locations CENTRAL CHAPEL 626 FIRST AVE | perience in that it makes you content with what you have. Money and possessions no longer influence your friend- ships, relationships and your self image. You have time to concentrate on other things without constant financial thoughts interrupting your train of thought. Tithing truly enables one to be a joyful giver. Some people have told me that they can hardly wait for the New Year to begin so they can start giving away money again! Aside from the fact that they just don't want to try it, most people experience resistance to tithing from three main sources. For one, tithing is an Old Testament practice and, among other places, it is tucked in the book of Deuteronomy be- tween the food laws and other social laws. The best explana- tion of the reason for tithing is in Dr. 14:23 where it states that the purpose of tithing is to "learn always to fear the Lord, your God." Another translation from the Living Bible says, "The purpose of tithing is to teach you always to put God first in your lives." This advice is as applicable today as it was when it was first written. Since we don't follow the dietary or social laws of that day, we tend to ignore the teaching on tithing as well Probably the reason for the greatest aversion toward tithing is because Jesus refers to it while lambasting the Pharisees for being hypocrites and frauds (Mt 23:23). This passage has been interpreted to mean that tithing is acting in a hypocritcal manner, and if this is true then talking about it or witnessing about it is an incredible hypocrisy. Jesus actually told the Pharisees, who had tithed down to the last mint leaf, to do the weightier matters of justice, mercy and good faith, but to not neglect those other (tithing) matters. To ignore tithing because of this passage is to discard a tool which can aid a believer in his journey to spiritual wholeness, t Another reason people don't try tithing is because they don't hear much about it. People who practice tithing don't talk about it because they are afraid of be- ing criticized or ridiculed as be- ing "holier than thou." There is also the fear that someone ,: will say or think, "IfI had his or her money I would tithe, too." This happened to me when someone first told me about tithing. I thought of someone who appeared better off finan- cially and thought, "It is easy for him to tithe: look at all the extra money he has." One of the best things about tithing is that it is strictly voluntary. No one checks up on you; no one needs to know what you are doing, and it isn't a sin if you don't do it. The tithe is freely given with no strings attached. What happens to the contributions should really be of no consequence to the giver. The receiver of the funds is the one responsible for their proper disposition. What the pastor, bishop or United Way does i with these monies is their con- cern, and your only concern is i between you and your God. I can't say that tithing is for i everyone. I can only say that the people I know who tithe are among the happiest people I :f have ever met. ! The article above was submit- ' ted to the Message for publica- tion by Z.F. Graham Jr., a member of St. Simen Church, Washington, Ind. :! Medical Arts Pharmacy 3700 Bellemeade Avenue Phone 477-1532 Donald Gutzweiler City-Wide Delivery Duncan's Riverside Pharmacy Prescription Service D ruffs- Sundries-Cosmetics Magazines - "We Deliver" Corner Riverside and Governor Evansville 422-9981 CALL 424-5536 TO GET YOUR BUSINESS OR SERVICE LISTED i 00!iii!!00i i li! PAUL'S Pharmacy Paul Mayer, Owner 2170 W. Franklin St. 425-4364 Plaza Pharmacy Newburgh Plaza Shopping Center Fast Pre.crtption Service Ken and Rebecca Hacker 853-7141 Oak Hill Pharmacy Prescription Specialists Hwy. 62 and N. Weinbach Ave. LARRY SCHUL'rHEIS, Prop. 425-44').2 Stratman's Pharmacy City-Wide Delivery 413 Locust Street John and Judy Stratman 425-5293