So am I sinning if I feel I can't afford to pledge?

I love this site.
It is a great site.
We are told to give to whoevery asks… I give sometimes to causes even though I live on a mimimum myself (for those who don’t know, I am a street musician, I have been working for money only part time of the year, street music and odd jobs, otherwise I just volunteer…I need the mimimum for my health insurance, sometimes rent if I am not staying with my family, plus travel expenses between the two countries (where I have my “mission” and where I have my family).
Now - since I don’t have a regular income, do I still have to pledge for this site? And how would I do it without anything in the bank or the use of a credit card?
I ask you guys’ forgiveness if I can’t.


It is for such like you that this site is free. Those who can afford it help make it available for those who cannot.

Do not feel guilty. Feel the grace and generosity of those who freely and gladly are able to give.

You are welcome here and may God richly bless you.

No, you do not have to pledge to this site or to any other cause. And, no it’s not a sin.

One is called to support the Church-- that is a precept of the Church. You are to give what you can, through prayer and discernment. You should discuss that with your priest.

Your time and talent are also part of that giving. You are doing mission work, and are living in voluntary poverty. You will not be able to give as much as someone who works-- but then someone who works isn’t giving their time the way you are.

What I do is set a yearly budget of what charities I will give to and how much. When I get the random phone call, letter in the mail, email, etc, asking for money I simply tell them it is not in my current budget but I’ll consider them for next year.

My budget includes the amount I pledge to may parish and diocese, my regular charities, and then a “miscellaneous” that I can use for these things that come up in the year. BUT, once that’s gone, it’s gone.

I really have a problem with this sometimes.
Somewhere in the Bible it says to give to whoever asks. But there are SO many people asking for money all the time. Often I tell myself I give something and it is good and God will provide for me. But I couldn’t for example sponsor a child or pleadge a monthly amount without a regular income.
So sometimes I have to throw away a letter asking for money… just send a prayer…


Being poor is not a sin. Ensuring that you can meet your own expenses is not wrong. Your prayers are more powerful than your money. :thumbsup:

Your feelings on this reflect that you seem to have a properly formed conscience in this area. You are doing nothing wrong.

I feel your pain, Kathrin. We have hit a pretty rough spot financially. We can’t help the causes we really believe in right now. In fact, our parish contribution is almost negible.

We’ve even had to drop our subscriptions to our favorite Catholic magazines and newspapers. So, we aren’t even supporting them this way.

I feel guilty even keeping our internet service, but right now it’s our principle source of entertainment. Plus, it’s very helpful in communication with our homeschool community. But, it’s the next to go.

Instead, we’ll offer our prayers.

I recently posted a topic focusing on a Pastor’s statistics stated in the weekly bulletin. I took offense that he was using $25 as what seemed to be the minimum he thought each family should give.

As much as I’d love to give $25/week, I can’t do it. $20 is the best I can do during good times and I’m still giving to the Church when I have unpaid credit card bills.

When I look around my church, I’m most impressed by the number of people present. Every 7th Monday I count money and I don’t pay the least attention who gives, how much they give, etc. The important thing is that you are in attendance at mass. As the average parishioner, it does my heart great joy to see a full church. I can’t imagine a priest who wouldn’t agree with me.

I have struggled with the same thing. I live on a fixed income, & I have to make it stretch to cover everything.
I just can’t see how I can possibly pledge. I would have to give up driving (seriously, the car needs repair for winter, and I simply:( can’t afford to get a new gas line and send money to CAF).
I have decided that I am going to give what I can give, which is some of my time, & pray especially for CAF.

I also live on a very fixed income, right now I am real concerned about having the money to put oil in my fuel tank to heat the house for winter. If I had the money I would pledge but I can’t, I will pray however,

I find this precept of the Church almost impossible to fulfil, and I think I always will.

The old Canon Law (not sure how old) had tithing 10% as the precept. That’s easy enough to follow.

Giving what you can is so hard to judge. Does what I can mean doing without a TV? Does it mean living in a smaller house than I could otherwise afford? How much smaller? A room for each child, or just one room for the boys and one for the girls? Does it mean my children paying their own way through college? How much can I give? Should I really give what I can?

There’s a fairly strong Franciscan calling in my life, and even considered becoming a friar at one time, though I realised pretty quick I was not called to religious life. Still, this pull on my conscience is hard given that I’m engaged to a woman who will, for various reasons, need quite a lot of money to help support her and our family’s needs in the future. How much satisfies the precept of the Church? I fear that whenever I buy myself a drink or a shirt that’s not the cheapest in the store or whenever I go on holiday or fill up the car with some extra fuel to make the trip to a place I don’t strictly need to be I’ll find myself questioning whether I’m keeping the precepts of the Church.

Can’t I go by the old rule and just say “10% is enough”? Otherwise there is no longer such a thing as a freewill offering - everything you can give only satisfies the precept, anything extra you give on top of that is in fact a sin, because it’s giving more than you reasonably can.

very good questions, DL. Your reply stirred a lot in me. Yes it is difficult (maybe impossible for us) to judge sometimes! No matter on what level of income you are. Somebody may be talking rooms in a house, a cheaper car, etc… somebody else may be talking “Is it ok if I don’t buy myself the cheapest kind of bread every time?”… Same with sharing, you know? Like I would buy myself some apples, go all over town to get the ones that are more affordable… and then on the way back see a homeless person who i think might need an apple even more than I… know what I mean? So in that case, if you struggle to buy your own produce, should you share, even if you are not sure that person doesn’t have more moeny to spend than you?
I try to let Love guide me.
I try to let the Holy Spirit guide me.
Sometimes it is SO hard.

But often it is also SO beautiful when you do share. And at other times I am just aware that I can only do so much. And we shouldn’t neglect ourselves either, right?
Or should we???
And what means neglect? As you said - going without a TV, that couldn’t be neglecting yourself, could it!!!?? But what if that’s your way of winding down from a stressful day - watching TV?

Maybe no answer to these questions?

Maybe we can just go by how we feel? pray about it?

The 10% thing… see for many people who are on a fixed income giving 10% may be virtically impossible, I guess that’s why the church chanhed the rules there??:shrug:


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