Tammi Murray is Sister Parish Ministry Chair for Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish in Bremerton, WA.
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth … For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.” (Read Matthew Chapter 6.) For me, reconciliation began first with simplifying. The realization of how much excess stuff I had was just a bit overwhelming and I began bringing box after box, bag after bag, week after week to St. Vincent de Paul. Three years later, I still have too much stuff. For me, it’s a process of peeling away. When Ugandan Sisters visited my home last summer, I became even more aware of the excess – in my refrigerator! Worse yet, I knew that much of the food would ultimately go to waste. I now try to buy less and waste less.
My next realization was just how little of my total income I was giving to the Parish and the poor. I began to slowly give more and more. At first giving began with helping a friend’s brother attend college. By the following year, I was helping another friend with a street children program. Although most of what I give continues to be directed to educational sponsorships and small-scale development projects, I am also trying to be more consistent in my financial commitment to my own Parish.
Lastly, I began to realize my great need for prayer. I realize that this may all seem to be a bit backward, but I am a Martha and my first instinct is actions. However, I have come to realize the need for both prayer and actions. While attending a social justice conference this past summer, I learned that you cannot give what you do not have. I have come to realize that as I draw from the Source, I am filled, and that when I am filled, I have more to give. As part of this renewed commitment to prayer, several members of the Sister Parish Ministry made a total consecration to Jesus through Mary on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
Webare (Thank you)
(Read more from Tammi: http://starofthesea.net/index.