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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

St. Vincent de Paul Unplugged and Updated

Even though the poor are often rough around the edges and unrefined, we must not judge them from their external appearances. It is our duty to prefer serving the poor over everything else we do. We must not delay in serving them. When you see one of these beggars, offer service to them as quickly as possible. For instance, if a needy person requires medicine or other help when it is your prayer time or other inconvenient moment, do the right thing and serve the poor person. Offer up serving others as your prayer to God. Do not become upset or feel guilty because you interrupted your prayer time to serve the poor. God is not neglected. One of God’s works is merely interrupted so that another can be carried out. So when you leave your prayer time to serve some poor person, remember that this very service is performed for God. Charity is certainly greater than any rules of the Church that you are required to follow. Moreover, do you realize that all rules must lead to charity? Charity rules! We must do whatever it commands of us. Okay, I hope you are inspired with renewed devotion to serve the poor. We must especially serve the homeless, outcasts and beggars. These types of people have been given to us by God to be our masters and bosses. We are privileged to meet Jesus in them.
(Paris, 1600s)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I am conflicted in my response to the homeless and would like your advice. I am not around the homeless much but when I see them, I do acknowledge them. However, I am not sure what I can do more without creating problems. I have a few friends who are recovered addicts and temporarily lived on the streets and they tell me that it's all about getting high on the streets. They said if I give them clothes or soaps etc. they will sell them or fight over them. They advise me to ackowledge and be friendly but to move on. My experience with homeless is not in downtown or at a soup kitchen. It's isolated homeless at a park or outside a store. And without judging I do think they are probably high. I just feel bad that I can't do anything for them. Can you advise?