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It is more blessed to give than to receive.

How many times will you hear these wise words this holiday season? This is my favorite time of year primarily because of this season’s emphasis on giving. The charitable and gift-giving yearnings among us all are stoked and encouraged more in December than at any other time of the year. This spirit is encapsulated and affirmed in what might be our favorite Christmas saying: It is more blessed to give than to receive.

The axiom could not be truer. Giving is a joy. Research suggests that generous people are happier people. Generous countries are happier countries. Benevolence brings vibrancy to our faith. Historically, openhandedness and abundant giving have been the fragrance of the Church. Part of our mandate as Christians includes a call to a countercultural understanding of our role as stewards, rather than owners, of our time and treasure. I’ll just speak for myself, but my hunch is others will resonate: My charity often robs the poor of the opportunity to give, rather than encouraging generosity. Continue Reading…