- Receiving the gifts of God with gratitude
- Cultivating them responsibly
- Sharing them lovingly in justice with others
- Standing before the Lord in a spirit of accountability
It is up to you to determine how you will live out this stewardship way of life. You will not be alone, however. Millions of fellow Catholics are traveling together with you.
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The Gifts of God
Think of God’s gifts in broader terms, not simply the material goods or security you may enjoy:
- Your faith, hope, love, and joy
- The relationships you have with your family and others
- Your intelligence, talents, and skills
- Your imagination, compassion, and vision
- Creation in all its splendor
Our Catholic tradition teaches us that with so many blessings come great challenges. At all times in our lives, we have an opportunity—and a responsibility—to share what we have been given.
Jesus Is the Steward
It begins with remembering our Baptism, when we became followers of Jesus Christ. From this call flows the commitment to Christ that makes stewardship possible—and deeply rewarding. However, this is a commitment to a lifetime of action, and it requires sacrifice.
Through following Christ, we have the benefit of the role model of sacrifice for the greater good, a model of self-giving and loving service.
Hearing and Responding to the Call
Everyone has a calling, which is another way of saying that your walk with God is personal. When you hear the call to gratitude and responsibility—in your friendships and family, in your work, wherever you go—then taking the next step to answer that call is where Catholic stewardship may be clearly seen.
And in our faith, that response happens in a wonderfully rich, vibrant community of diverse and talented individuals. We are all encouraged to consider responding generously to God’s call to a priestly or religious vocation, as well as to the single or married life.
What Does a Catholic Steward Look Like?
Catholic stewards take care of the world around us, including embracing the social teaching of the Church.
- We work as partners with God in the redemption of the world.
- We respect human life and dignity.
- We protect the natural environment.
- We share our gifts (time, talents, and treasures) with others.
- We communicate our enthusiasm.
For your own development as a Catholic steward, it helps to spend time in prayer and reflection. In recognizing your gifts from God, we are to explore how best to use those gifts for the benefit of others—and of course, invite others to discern and share their gifts, too.
The Challenges and Rewards of Stewardship
It is an incredible challenge to live in imitation of the life of Christ. We all face obstacles, opportunities, and challenges, living in a fast-paced environment with many responsibilities. Our spiritual hunger does not always get a chance to be nourished through prayer and action.
A clear sense of purpose—nourished by the Eucharist and our rich Catholic tradition—opens the door for us to actively commit to a life of gratitude and responsibility, to thank God for his endless gifts, and then to decide what we can do to help the world. The rewards include:
- Making a difference in people’s lives
- Becoming an active member of a life sustaining Catholic community
- Discovering talents yet to be used
- Letting go of your worries and setting realistic goals in both your spiritual and secular life
- Experiencing the growing sense of God’s presence in your life
Copyright © 2003, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Inc., Washington, D.C. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright holder.
Stewardship and Young Adults: An Invitation to Help Change the World is available in a print edition and may be ordered by calling toll-free 800.235.8722. Ask for publication number 5-525.