I was thinking recently about St. Therese and Judgment Day. Therese wanted to stand before God with “empty hands.” As part of her plan to trust in God rather than in her merits, she chose to give away all her spiritual goods. She offered them to God, not for herself, but for others. She left herself spiritually poor and naked. Then she was able to focus, not on her acts of virtue and self-denial, but on the merits of Jesus. She believed that, seeing her with no works on which to be judged, God would apply Jesus’ works to her account. Thus, her confidence was in Jesus alone.
Following St. Therese, when I make a sacrifice, accept the trials and disappointments of my day, or act virtuously, I picture myself handing a plain brown box to the Blessed Virgin Mary. This is my gift for the Infant Jesus. Mary takes the package and wraps it splendidly with her love and virtues. Then she passes it on to her Son, and He distributes it as He sees fit.
St. Therese had countless gifts to give to God for souls. My gifts, on the other hand, are few and small. I cannot outdo Therese. But I am still hoping to match her. I am giving God my widow’s mite, all I have to live on. And who can give more than that?
“And He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the multitude putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came, and put in two copper coins, which make a penny. And He called his disciples to Him, and said to them, ‘Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For they all contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, her whole living'” (Mark 12:41-44).
13 thoughts on “Give God your widow’s mite”
I love this!
Thanks, Nancy. It inspires me every time I think about it.
Love it too! Wow that had a powerful impact on me. God bless you and yours Connie.
Bice, thanks for the blessings. This is the way regular folks like us can become saints. Blessed Advent.
This is very powerful. In Buddhist practice, at the end of each practice session (and at other times) we “dedicate the merit”. This means to give up any personal spiritual or worldly benefit of spiritual practice so that others can benefit. It is important to say the words, but also to form the intention and actually make the gift. There is an analogy that good works or “merit” that is retained for yourself is like a drop of water that quickly dries up. Dedicating the merit is like depositing the drop into an ocean where it will not dry up for all time.
This practice that you speak of in your tradition has great virtue.
Alyosha, that’s very interesting. I never knew there was a similar idea in Buddhism. Is this particular to one type of Buddhism, or to Buddhism in general? When we learn what different religions have in common, I think it shows us truths about the longings of the human heart. We are all striving to find the same thing. Blessings!
The idea is common to all lineages of Tibetan Buddhism. There may be similar ideas in Zen and Theravadin (Southeast Asian) lineages, but I am less familiar with those.
Thanks for your blog — I have enjoyed visiting.
Thanks for the information, and please visit again!
Thank you for this today.
I had to come tell how much it meant to me.
You’re welcome, Trish. This is something we all can do.
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My wife just last night talked about giving all our efforts to Mary. We had just got home from church, she served with one of our son’s, I Cantored. I am losing my voice so it was a tough Mass to get through. I made the comment, “I hope God appreciates the effort.” I know he does but sometimes I get tired of being the person who is asked to help if you know what I mean, even though I know it’s an honor to be asked. Anyway, that’s when she said about giving all our efforts to Mary. I don’t believe in coincidences but I do believe in Christ- Incidences. Thank You for a needed shot in the arm.
You’re welcome, Dennis. I love when God works that way! It’s so obvious want He is saying. It is hard to always be the one to “volunteer.” But you’ll only know in Heaven to what good use Mary and Jesus have put your efforts. New Year’s blessings to you.