Someone asked me if we could provide a monthly budget report that would show the difference between what we have and what the parish “needs.” I understand the question. What we really “need” is for members to give thankfully in proportion to their personal income. That means paying less attention to the amount we give, and more attention to the percentage of our income we give. When we give in proportion, the amount we give goes up as income goes up, and down when income goes down. That has an understandable effect on the parish budget. What percentage? Now that’s the real question. The Bible talks about giving God a tithe – that’s 10% of our income – and doing it thankfully. Shocking, I know. Some of us do. Here in the USA, Catholics are asked to consider giving 5% to the local parish, 1% to the diocese, and the balance to other charities. In practice, Catholics give about 1% total. Protestants give about 2%. Don’t worry about what the parish “needs” in order to balance the budget. Ask yourself whether you are giving gratefully, in proportion to your income. If most of us were doing that, the budget would take care of itself.