January 14 "Called to Be Saints" Mark 1:40-45 Blessed Juana Maria LluchWe think of saints as people who are 'near perfection', who are beyond our own spirituality. In reality saints are just ordinary people who go beyond themselves to meet Christ in others. Juana Maria Lluch came from a wealthy family and she saw a need in the latter half of the 19th and early part of the 20th century to have a ministry to factory workers....more
.Last night as I drove down 13th street towards South Van Ness I counted at least fifty tents under neath the over pass; in the Haight there were countless tents and bed rolls in Golden Gate Park. Jay is 18 years old, he has been on the street since he was 15. He has no support, no way of learning the skills of negotiating getting a job or into school. I was raised from the day I was born to go to school, and to have a career, I am a lucky sperm, Jay has not been so lucky. The programs are limited. The Mayor touts his Navigation Center and the hope of having six more in the next year--when there are thousands of people who are homeless; none of the presidential candidates every mention homelessness;Elizabeth had a walk on part, after John the Baptist's birth she disappeared. The majority of us have walk on parts as well--no one will remember us when we are gone; but in this walk on part each of us can choose to simply give of what we have; to fight for reduced rent, to scream at our leaders to get involved and focus the budget to helping people on the streets. I have been ill this past month, and all I have had to do is email my doctor, go see her or to the emergency room and I am taken care of; these guys do not have that privilege. For any long term help or assistance to happen, all of us, with walk on parts, have to be involved, and I know that we will not be remembered in the scheme of things but in the Kingdom of God we are remembered. People tell me that they can not stand to see the pain, can not face the enormity of the problem--and I tell them to embrace the pain, to feel the pain, and joy will come in the morning. For all of us have pain in our lives, but only when we turn our lives towards others do we truly find joy. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!...more
.Christ is the Bread of LifeMatthew 26:26 (NRSV) "While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is my body."...more
I think his name is Henry. I’m not really sure because he has a speech disability and I found him quite difficult to understand.We met him standing by the side of the drive-through lane at one of the local McDonald’s. My wife had a headache and wanted a Coke and, you know, Mickey D’s has drinks for a dollar these days.We asked him if he wanted something to eat and he said yes. So along with my wife’s Coke, we ordered Henry a cheeseburger and fries and a soda. He expressed his gratitude in no uncertain terms....more
I spent a very special day in Chicago yesterday with my daughters. We were celebrating my ten year old daughters making it through a whole year after her intensive surgery to lengthen her tendons and to replace her hips. It has been a long, very hard, very painful year for her, and I thought it was a perfect opportunity to celebrate and make a negative turn into a positive....more
It is sorely disappointing when you've tried to help a person again and again, only to bemet with ingratitude in return. Thisis particularly so when it is evident that your efforts appear to have done nothing to improve hislife.
Of course, when you start down the road of helping a needy individual, it is difficult to know when to stop. At whatpoint does largesse cease being charitable and begin being enabling?
We had it out with Homeless Guy #1 the other day. I don't regret that it happened; we said some things that have needed to be said for some time....more
No one really knows how many of California’s young people are homeless at any given time. But on one day in the middle of the winter last year, a PIT count (a flash census — PIT stands for “point in time”) estimated the number to be about 15,000. That’s 15,000 youngsters aged 12 to 24 sleeping under bridges and over heating grates, in cars, in shelters, in the woods or on someone’s couch.I’ve known for some time that there are a lot of homeless young people, but I found this number to be truly appalling. And that’s just for one state!...more
We arrived in Seattle for a wedding, knowing that we were to share a two-bedroom apartment with my sister-in-law and her husband, knowing that we were to share a queen-sized bed rather than the king we used at home. I was not thrilled at this arrangement. So my dear husband promised me he would sleep on the floor if the smaller bed was a problem, and I envisioned adding a roll-away to our room, which was available according to the rental's website. I wanted both of us to sleep in comfort....more