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Friday, April 4, 2014

We all need God

We all need God but the Holy Father is really concerned about the poor and their spiritual care. Here is another excerpt: (bold is mine for emphasis) 

Since this Exhortation is addressed to members of the Catholic Church, I want to say, with regret, that the worst discrimination which the poor suffer is the lack of spiritual care. The great majority of the poor have a special openness to the faith; they need God and we must not fail to offer them his friendship, his blessing, his word, the celebration of the sacraments and a journey of growth and maturity in the faith. Our preferential option for the poor must mainly translate into a privileged and preferential religious care.

201. No one must say that they cannot be close to the poor because their own lifestyle demands
more attention to other areas. This is an excuse commonly heard in academic, business or professional, and even ecclesial circles. While it is quite true that the essential vocation and mission of the lay faithful is to strive that earthly realities and all human activity may be transformed by the Gospel,171 none of us can think we are exempt from concern for the poor and for social justice: "Spiritual conversion, the intensity of the love of God and neighbor, zeal for justice and peace, the Gospel meaning of the poor and of poverty, are required of everyone".172 I fear that these words too may give rise to commentary or discussion with no real practical effect. That being said, I trust in the openness and readiness of all Christians, and I ask you to seek, as a community, creative ways of accepting this renewed call.

How am I doing this? I did agree to be connected to some prison ministry but have not yet begun that work. I am most grateful for the years, the last ones, in Chile when I really had the opportunity to live poor among the poor. I was superior of a community of five and we lived really poor because that is what we wanted to do as we lived in a very poor section in a wooden house built for us by the priests so we also took care of the church. We had a soup kitchen in our backyard that fed all the pre-schoolers - many did not have fathers and no money or food at home. It was touching to see these little ones want to take home their bread to share or give to their mothers.


172 Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Instruction Libertatis

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