Lenten Almsgiving

Catholics are expected to give alms throughout the year but are asked to focus more intently on almsgiving during Lent as one of the three pillars of Lenten practice along with prayer and fasting.

Almsgiving is the practice of donating money or food, or doing other acts of charity for those who are less fortunate, for Jesus’ sake.

The external act of giving alms should be accompanied by the proper intention. Almsgiving is a work of mercy when it is done out of love for God and with respect for the dignity of others.

Alms should never be given because of arrogance or guilt but should be practiced with a spirit of thanksgiving and an understanding that everything is a gift from God.

Almsgiving involves some type of sacrifice on the part of the giver in order to provide for the needs of the other. Alms should not come from a surplus but should bring about a change or adjustment in spending habits.

Jesus was charitable:

Array of Hope Ministries

Developing a generosity of spirit:


“[But] take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father. When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.”

Matthew 6: 1-4

Part of a Christian lifestyle:


Christians are called to give alms:

Ascension Presents

A type of sacrifice:

St. Joan of Arc Hershey

Christian sharing puts this natural obligation into practice, and the motive of charity makes the obligation more urgent. So sharing is a fundamental Christian attitude. The Christian finds joy in sharing, in enjoying together a heritage that God has generously placed at the disposal of everyone. The Christian finds joy in the many ways of showing love for one’s neighbor – from almsgiving and serving individuals, to collective contributions for the advancement of peoples who are at a material disadvantage.

Pope Paul VI, Message for Lent, 1978

Going outside ourselves to serve others:

Catholic Community of Ascension and St Augustine

Recalling the heart of almsgiving:


Giving alms to the poor is a witness to fraternal charity: it is also a work of justice pleasing to God.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 2462

Encountering Christ in the poor:

Archdiocese of St. Louis

Giving to those who are most in need:

Catholic Hogs

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

Twin partners in a holy life:

Lakeshore Academy for the New Evangelization

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