I have found that you can help those in need by just opening up your eyes around you and seeing whose in need. There are people in my life who don't own a car, whether because they are handicaped, can't afford one, etc. Just giving those people a ride to the store or an event is helpful. Looking out for he elderly people in our lives too especially those who have little money or social contact.
I think we have become to comfortable with our lives. I think we get distracted in life thinking its about being us always having fun and being entertained. We can forget about others too easily.
I have learned that only Christ's love can satisfy my hungers in life and the times I have allowed Him to do that I am more willing to sacrifice time and energy to serving others. May God help and inspire all of us to reach out more to others.
I just wanted to throw this out there. Maybe I'll get beat up for it, maybe I won't. I am asking all Catholics this question with all the sincerity that I can muster. With the election over (thankfully) I am appalled at the travesty of both political parties completely ignoring the poor. As a psychologist, I work with people with severe mental illness and addiction problems aka the poorest of the poor. It's my job week in and week out. Still I don't hear anything about it from my fellow Catholics. Oh sure, they give me a pat on the back, but how many of them (and how many of you) would serve these people, go to where I work, and--shocker here--get out of your nice neighborhoods and go the places and households where these people reside. Instead, I hear endless talk about defending life and defending the sanctity of marriage.
Now don't get me wrong. I'm just as pro life and pro traditional marriage as anyone else on this site. In fact I've put my life in jeopardy a few times because of my views (ie I've had weapons pointed at me). How many of you can claim that?
Here's my question and my challege: Will you help the least of us in this advent season? Will you step out of the ranks of safety and dare to help someone or a family in need? 12 years ago I was almost a Fransiscan friar and we were trained to look at the poor as Christ coming into our lives. Do you?
A lot of social-justice Catholics seem to have perverted Catholic social teachings and embraced social-welfare programs that don't address the core issues that keep people poor.
We need to be all of the above Catholics and not those who are conservative on social issues yet neglect the poor or only be liberal on poverty issue while embracing liberalism on matters such as Christ's Divinity, papal authority or family life.
>>I'd say a lot of the ones I refer to come from a Liberation Theology approach.
My impression is Liberation Theology is dieing out with the generation that advocated it. It's pretty rare to meet someone under the age of 50 or 60 who is a strong follower.
I think the fact that you do that demonstrates love, and that is fabulous.
One of my favorite jobs was teaching first grade in an inner city school. The neighborhood was plagued with gang violence. We (teachers) were once shot at during a gang incident. My ex encouraged me to quit due to the danger, but I only reluctantly so. But, the job was very fulfilling.
Another favorite job was working with parents, teachig them how to teach their 4,5, and 6 year olds in order to prevent recidivism in kindergarten...Kids repeating kindergarten costs the school system quite a bit of money each year. I went to the homes and worked with the parents, meeting them on a weekly basis. Many of these homes were in the poorest neighborhoods, and were at best questionable on safety. Many of my clients had been in jail for a period of time. It was a joy to watch them develop the skils and dedication needed to have a postivie impact on their children's education.
Too many people are unable to say that they honestly even know someone who is hungry. I had students who dug through my trash for food and that is how I found out the household was low on food and helped them to get help. My ex never got my desire to be in that environment day in/day out. Unfortunately, there was a small health issue that caused me to need to step back from my career for a time. I am so glad there are people like you who are willing to be in the trenches helping. That's where God is most present.
I think you may be surprised sometime. I am very compassionate and I teach people with less to offer, what compassion looks like in action. I have worked at a facility for people with varing degrees of mental and physical disabilities. I am not a clinician like yourself, but I support 500 staff with information technology resources. Sometimes all people need is not a audible reminder, but a visual reminder. I began a project last Christmas called Cookies Without Borders. My goal was to break down barriers and stigmas attached to our population so that we could raise awareness and comfort level with our individuals in the community and work towards integration. The cookies have gone over famously, and the residents and all staff alike are very happy to participate.
They're just cookies. But they have had a huge impact on the lives of everyone we come in contact with. We call it active treatement. I bet if you came up with something equally engaging you would be surprised at just how much support you would get. I will keep you and your individuals in my prayers.
PS...my father passed away in 2004 from his lifestyle of addiction. Ever since I have kept a keyring from NA with me at all times to remind myself to pray for those with addition and talk candidly with people who ask about it. I couldn't save my father, but I can spread the word about how awful it is to be trapped in yourself with no control. And Pray. Prayer never hurt.
Hi, David. I am a Teaching Assistant at a local, inner city Catholic school. Every day, I work with a population that struggles economically, academically, and spiritually. Most are Latino, and many first-generation in this country. Every day, I work with kids who are without coats in cold weather, without breakfast before school, and some without parents, staying with extended family, friends, or foster care. There is a high turnover of students as they move frequently from place to place, but most of our faculty and staff have been around for a long time. Our catechesis and behavior expectations follow a high standard, as does the Sacred Liturgy. We are supported by a number of parishes and a phenomenal pastor. It is a struggle, sometimes a huge struggle, with some of these very tough kids, but well worth our efforts. It is truly a mission school providing Catholic education to the poor, and many such schools are closing.
I have chosen this work because it brings me closer to Christ, through these students. If you could see their faces, hear their voices, as they sang for a local nursing home today... If you think I'm boasting, you're right. I am. But like St. Paul, my boast is in Christ. I love my job.
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