Tithing Our Time to God

Posted on April 11, 2022 in: Catholic Life

Tithing Our Time to God

Lent is an opportunity to offer a tenth of our year, in a special way, to the Lord


with the idea of “tithing,” offering to God a tenth of one’s income. It is a biblical concept, rooted in the Book of Genesis, when Abraham gave to Melchizedek, king of Salem, “a tenth of everything” (Gen 14:20).

A largely lost tradition, and one well worth recovering, is to approach the 40 days of Lent — slightly more than a tenth of the year — as a spiritual tithe of our time.

Time is more valuable than money. If we want to make a tithe of our time, we must use those days well, turning them into a meaningful offering to God. Fortunately, the Church gives us a blueprint for how to do this. It involves taking up what the Ash Wednesday liturgy calls the “arms of Christian penance”: prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

Prayer: Make time in your daily routine for personal prayer, whether it be five minutes, 15 minutes or an hour. The key is to schedule prayer in our daily calendars, making it an appointment we don’t erase, and thus a priority we won’t forget.

Fasting: Observe the days of fasting and abstinence in Lent, especially abstaining from meat on Fridays. In fact, we can extend this practice through the year and abstain from meat every Friday, which remains an obligatory day of penance according to canon law.

Almsgiving: The Church encourages almsgiving, an offering of money and material goods or acts of charity to the most vulnerable and those in need. Volunteering our time in service to others should come naturally for Knights and already be a part of our daily lives, but it is something we should practice with special attention during Lent.

Schedule a regular time to pray as a family — whether it involves the family rosary, reading Scripture or something else. As Father Patrick Peyton famously said, “The family that prays together stays together.”

Finally, look for opportunities to serve your parish or community together as a family. Make it a place of charity by routinely performing acts of kindness and the spiritual works of mercy — forgiving offenses willingly, bearing wrongs patiently, comforting the afflicted. In the way we use our time, we can lead our domestic churches and those around us by example, both during Lent and throughout the rest of the year.


PHILIP KOSLOSKI writes from Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., where he is a member of Msgr. Reding Council 1558.  

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