Brothers and sisters, consider this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
Franciscan spirituality invites continual reflection, meditation and contemplation of God's superabundant generosity. Once we develop an eye for God's extravagance it's hard not to see.
How many billions of stars and galaxies are there?
How many acorns does a single oak tree produce?
How many bees does a single queen bee generate?
How many people live on the face of the earth?
How much blood and water flowed from Jesus' wounded side?
How much have the martyrs of every nation suffered for our faith, even to this day?
Even when we set about to destroy the environment it takes all the technology at our disposal to do it; for the atmosphere, the waters and the earth have endless ways to purify themselves! Scientists have discovered microbes consuming oil spills years ahead of their plans to clean up the mess. (Not that we should not cease our stupid behavior! There are spiritual, economic, social and ecological consequences to sin far beyond our comprehension. Nature will not undo the spiritual consequences.)
If we first consider God's prodigal generosity we're far more disposed to support our brothers and sisters in their need.
In the aftermath of a hurricane in Louisiana, I once asked my congregation to contribute to a spontaneous collection. Our city had been "staring down the barrel of the shotgun" when the storm veered off and assaulted another part of the state. One fellow gave far more than the usual spare change. He said he considered how much he would have lost had the hurricane remained on course. With that thought in mind he dug deep into his resources.
We're often asked to "give till it hurts." Certainly, a real donation of money, time or energy must make a dent in one's resources. It will resemble that hole the boy was digging in the sand -- to contain the ocean! -- which the tide erased in a flood of grace.