Stewardship is commonly misunderstood and associated with the concept of tithing, the practice of donating 10% of one's income. While the Second Vatican Council never created an official church law on tithing, it reiterated the importance of supporting the Church stating that Christians have a duty and an honor to give back to God a portion of their gifts.
In 1992, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops expanded on this principle when they published a Pastoral Letter entitled Stewardship: A Disciple’s Response. Their definition of stewardship reached far beyond financial contributions and encouraged Catholics to live their lives as disciples of Jesus.
Equipped with this knowledge, we have the "power to change how we understand and live out our lives." (Stewardship: A Disciple's Response, page 1) This thought conversion begins a life-long process of sharing our gifts of time, talent and treasure out of gratitude, not out of obligation. Living our lives as true stewards reminds us of our baptismal promises and becomes the motivational force behind our actions.