4 Doors of God's Grace
The Door of Worship
This door calls us to bring God into our lives through the Eucharist, by attending Mass each weekend – and more often if possible. Our worship at Mass is at the heart of our faith, but it goes beyond what takes place at Mass. We show worship and reverence to God with all our prayers – in adoration, the Stations of the Cross and even those prayers outside our church building. As we continue to grow spiritually and pledge our attendance at Mass, let us prayerfully remind ourselves of our devotion to God in all aspects of our lives and our special faith community of St. James.
The Door of Service
Christ washed the feet of his disciples, and we’re all called to that same type of service for one another. Sometimes we refer to people serving the parish as volunteers, but it’s not so much volunteering as it is doing what needs to be done as members … family members meeting their responsibilities as family. Opening this door is a commitment to spending at least one hour per each week helping others at St. James or in the community – in short, being Jesus to others. There are many ways to be involved at St. James – just take a few minutes to look at all the ministries listed on this site!
The Door of Spiritual Growth
Our faith journey is constanty in motion – our ability to open this door helps determine whether we are moving closer to God or falling farther away from Him. The commitment to this door involves spending at least one hour each week in a spiritual activity, and our spiritual growth involves the growth of the whole person: our mind, our body, our heart and our will. Scripture readings, adoration, disciplines and educational endeavors are among the many ways to grow spiritually – to deepen our faith and form our human self in such a way as to be more Christ-like.
The Door of Treasure
We give back to God not because someone has asked us to give or the parish has a new project or an increased budget. We give back to God, first and foremost, because of our need to give. Our need to give back in gratitude for all we’ve been given. Tithing was part of the faith of our ancestors and remains a part of our faith today. We’re encouraged to give back to God a portion of the financial blessings He makes possible in our lives.
How much to give? The tithe is 10 percent of our gross income, and the Church asks that half of that tithe (5 percent) go to the parish, 1 percent to the archdiocese and 4 percent to other charities. At St. James, a simple formula tells us what that 5 percent level is for each of us -- $1 per week for every $1,000 of gross income. Those who make $30,000 a year would give $30 a week. If $50,000 a year, then $50 per week, and so on.
As you consider your commitment this year, think about taking a step in faith by increasing your gift at least 1 percentage point. If you’re at 1 percent, think about moving to 2 percent … if you’re at 3 percent, pray about moving to 4 percent.