When I began the makeover of this blog, my intention was to make this a space that would help us, and others like us, to learn how to better love, serve and live as stronger witnesses of Christ. It's been a few weeks and I've strayed a little, finding much to write about in the meantime. This month, the month we celebrate Pentecost, the great sending forth of the apostles into the world, I thought it was time to begin to more intentionally focus on serving as the hands and feet of Christ in the world today. I've chosen to do this through examining the Works of Mercy, corporal and spiritual. Below is our springboard into what is hopefully an adventurous journey to love more selflessly, serve more joyfully, and live more boldly as the hands and feet of Christ that the world may come to know Him and the deep abyss of love He has waiting for us.
Corporal Work: Feed the hungry.
When we look at the statistics out there on world hunger, especially childhood hunger, it is easy to get discouraged. There is so much need, and what can we as one little family do? The trouble is that if we all begin to act out of that thought (which is what the evil one would love), then we continue to allow injustice to rule the day. If your family feels called to this particular work of mercy, there are several organizations who are doing the larger work of coordination. There are two that I will highlight this month. One is local to us in the Metro Detroit area. The other is international.
We are blessed in the Detroit area to be greatly served by the Capuchins. With their ministry at St. Bonaventure in the city and through the Solanus Casey Center, they have been able to touch thousands of lives sharing the Good News of the Gospel. One of their ministries is the Capuchin Soup Kitchen. Another is the Earthworks Garden. Through one, they feed and teach service to those who have come to them for help. Through the other, they teach the art of urban farming to help defray costs and teach the men and women to "fish." You can visit them on the web to find out more about what they are doing.
Internationally, Food For The Poor, Inc. is an ecumenical Christian nonprofit organization based in Coconut Creek, Florida, USA that provides food, medicine, and shelter, among other services, to poor people in Latin America and the Caribbean. One of their most notable programs, and how I came to learn of them, is their ongoing work in Haiti. To find out more, visit them on the web.
What can you do as a family? Pray. Pray for the Lord to show you where your own family might live in excess and what food you might be wasting. Part of giving to others is realizing that when we live in excess, we are stealing from those in need. However, Mother Teresa was fond of reminding us that if we are giving away the things we don't want or need, then we are not acting out of charity. Don't use this as an opportunity to clean your pantry, though that is certainly a good thing. Go a step further and add a food bank or shelter to your monthly grocery list. Let the kids help pick out items that they think kids in need might like to eat. Make a trip as a family to drop it off, or find out if there are collections going on in your area.
Spiritual Work: Instruct the ignorant.
It is a great temptation to look at this and see other people's faces. This month, I encourage you to look at your own knowledge of the faith and where it might be lacking. Make a commitment as a family to make a list of a few things you would like to learn together, and then divide and conquer! Make sure your sources are reliable (check for imprimaturs on printed material), and reference Scripture and the Catechism as a measure. You'll be surprised at what you learn, and better equipped to share it with someone else in the future!
I'd love to hear your adventures as the month progresses, so feel free to share them here or email me at Rakhi (dot) McCormick (at) gmail (dot) com. Happy working! Love 'em like Jesus!