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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

How do I Know if I am on the Road to Heaven?

As St. John once said, “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death.” 1 John 3:14 Thus, love (not religious practices) is the only valid measure of knowing with certitude that a soul is on the pathway to heaven. Many a road to hell has been paved by souls who, when lead astray by the deceiver, believed they were on the way to heaven because of their awesome “religious practices.” These are souls that do everything right, including lots of church services, mortifications and rituals. Further, it can be ascertained that the pathway to Purgatory is also paved by souls who love, but have placed limits on their love. They may choose not to forgive certain people or not to love certain races, colors of people, gay people, weak people and the like. However, when we embrace all of humanity with no-limits-love we walk on a pathway that can bypass Purgatory and lead the soul direct to heaven. Blessed Mother Teresa is our modern model of such love. All of heaven is granted the soul in spite of its human weaknesses, failures and flaws that may still exist in it in this life. St. Peter sums it all up in this regard when he said, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8
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Monday, December 28, 2009

Caution: Reading Homeless In America may uncover personal brokenness - weeping and grieving likely, God-encounters possible.

Back in August of '07, a Sony digital camera was gifted by Cecil K. with a suggestion: "Publish a BlogSpot.com blog to chronicle the life of homeless in America." As they say, the rest is history! Now on the threshold of 2010, Homeless In America turns 532 - that is 532 posts, blogs, rants, insights and raves over the past three years. All of which make for great fodder - food for thought, bits and bites when talking at the "water cooler", counseling others, phone chatter or pub or cafe talk. Now with 532 posts, you can daily make the blog and its history come alive - use the "search" box in the upper left. Check out almost any topic of personal interest - from "Augustine to Vets" and "Amos to Judgment" you will find triumphal insights into everyone's brokenness. If you and your friends have not already done so, please take a moment and Subscribe! in the upper right column.

Caution: Reading Homeless In America may uncover personal brokenness - weeping and grieving likely, God-encounters possible.
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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Bumper Sticker Seen on the Road Today . . .

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

In Majesty and Poverty We Celebrate

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John 1:14

In both His majesty and poverty we celebrate Christ born among us: God-hero, Wonder, Counselor, Immanuel, God-with-us!

For you know the gracious act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that for your sake he became poor although he was rich, so that by his poverty you might become rich. 2 Corinthians 8:9

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Prince Sleeps in the Cold, like an English Fairytale gone Awry

Today, Associated Press writer Jennifer Quinn reports that like an English fairytale gone awry, a Prince slept in a cold alley in central London. It’s a far cry from a palace — but it was the spot Prince William chose to sleep last week to highlight the plight of homeless British teenagers.

He spent a chilly night near Blackfriars Bridge last week with Seyi Obakin, the chief executive of British homeless charity Centrepoint. William has been the charity's patron since 2005.

"I cannot, after one night, even begin to imagine what it must be like to sleep rough on London's streets night after night," William said Tuesday. Poverty, mental illness, drug and alcohol dependency and family breakdown cause people to become and then stay homeless.

"I hope that by deepening my understanding of the issue, I can help do my bit to help the most vulnerable on our streets."

William, second in line to the throne, was exposed to some of the hardships found on London's streets when his mother, Princess Diana, took him to a shelter in 1996. Just 13 at the time, William spent an hour at the facility with his younger brother, Harry.

Diana was well-known for her charitable work and the homeless was a group she was particularly close to. She had also served as Centrepoint's patron, a position she held at the time of her death in 1997.
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Monday, December 21, 2009

A Christmas Prayer

Emmanuel - God With Us is God For Us
By M.Y. Lee

God of every nation and people,
From the beginning of Creation
You have made known your love
Through the gift of your Son
Who bears the name Emmanuel, "God with Us."
In the fullness of time the Christ-child came
To be the Good News to all humankind.

Emmanuel, God lives with us as one of us;
Christ, the Word made flesh
Has come to us as a vulnerable,
Weak and dependent babe;
A God who hungered and thirsted,
And longed for human touch and affection;
A God who chose to be born
In obscurity and shame,
To a virgin, an unwed maiden,
With a dirty stable as a home
And a borrowed manger as a bed,
In a tiny, insignificant town called Bethlehem.

Oh, Mighty God, of humble origins,
Christ, the Messiah, whom the prophets foretold,
You were born at a time, and in a place
Where few welcomed you
Or even recognized you.

Have we, too, lost a sense of joy and anticipation
In what the Christ-child may bring?
Have we been preoccupied with endless activities,
Distracted by the tinsel, decorations, and gifts—
Busy preparing for the birthday of Christ;
So busy that there's no room in our cluttered lives
To welcome Him when he comes?

God, grant us the grace to be patient and vigilant
In watching, waiting, and listening attentively.
So that we won't miss Christ
When he comes knocking at our door.

Remove whatever hinders us from receiving
The gifts which the Savior brings—
Joy, peace, justice, mercy, love ...
These are the gifts we are to share
With the downtrodden, the oppressed,
The outcasts, the weak, and the defenseless.

Christ, you are the hope of all peoples,
The wisdom who teaches and guides us,
The wonderful Counselor who encourages and consoles,
The Prince of Peace who calms our troubled minds
And restless spirits—
Granting us true inner peace.

Christ, you who are the radiant dawn,
Shine on those who live in darkness and in shadows,
Dispel fears, anxieties, and insecurities,
Restore hearts that have grown cold and distant,
Enlighten minds which have become darkened
Through greed, anger, hatred and bitterness.

We remember those who are living in shadows of a marginal existence,
We pray for the homeless, jobless and retrenched,
Those struggling to keep their lives together,
We lift up families, especially the children
Who may not experience
The joy of Christmas celebrations this season.

We pray for those living alone,
The widowed, the orphans, the elderly,
The sick and bedridden, the migrant workers
For whom the Christ-event may hold no special significance.
As happens with most festive seasons,
May it not deepen their sense of abandonment and alienation.

Christ, You who are the Light of the World,
Help us to radiate the warmth of your presence.
Enable us to give of ourselves generously and compassionately
In bringing joy, peace, and hope to others.

As we wait for the dawn
Of the coming of the Christ-child,
We do so with anticipation
Of new and unexpected challenges.
Like Mary, we sense the birth pangs of a new era,
A new kingdom waiting to be born.

May we, like Mary, be filled with courage,
Openness, and receptivity
To be the bearers of the Christ-child
In receiving and bringing forth the Good News
As we continue to be witnesses
Of God's truth and justice,
As we walk along the path of peace,
As we are strengthened in our love for Christ
And for each other.

In the words of Isaiah:
"Arise, shine, for your light has come.
The glory of the LORD has risen upon you.
Even though darkness shall cover the earth
And over its people,
Yet the LORD will be your everlasting light."


Amen.
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Scroll down the page and vote in the polls. Subscribe! top right column. Please take a moment to donate online to Homeless In America’s day-after-Christmas StreetReach for the poor living under the bridges and in alleyways of downtown Los Angeles. There is a need for water sponsors, $20 - food sponsors, $30 and monthly sponsors are needed for van insurance $50 and operation/upkeep $100. God bless you for your compassion and help for the 1000s of poor we serve: http://www.servantsofthefather.org/donation_homeless

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Letter from Jesus about Christmas

It has come to my attention that many of you are Upset that folks are taking My name out of the season.

How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of your own. I don't care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate My birth, just "GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER".

Now, having said that let Me go on. If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn't allow a scene depicting My birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santa's and snowmen and put in a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn. If all My followers did that there wouldn't be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town.

Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all trees. You can remember Me anytime you see any tree. Decorate a grape vine if you wish - I actually spoke of that one in a teaching, explaining who I am in relation to you and what each of our tasks were. If you have forgotten that one, look up John 15: 1 - 8.

If you want to give Me a present in remembrance of My birth here is my wish list. Choose something from it:

1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way My birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home. They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year. I know, they tell Me all the time.

2. Visit someone in a nursing home. You don't have to know them personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them.

3. Instead of writing the President complaining about the wording on the cards his staff sent out this year, why don't you write and tell him that you'll be praying for him and his family this year. Then follow up... It will be nice hearing from you again.

4. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can't afford and they don't need, spend time with them. Tell them the story of My birth, and why I came to live with you down here. Hold them in your arms and remind them that I love them.

5. Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.

6. Did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take their own life this season because they feel so alone and hopeless? Since you don't know who that person is, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile; it could make the difference.

7. Instead of nit picking about what the retailer in your town calls "the Holiday", be patient with the people who work there. Give them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren't allowed to wish you a "Merry Christmas" that doesn't keep you from wishing them one. Then stop shopping there on Sunday. If the store didn't make so much money on that day they'd close and let their employees spend the day at home with their families

8. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary--especially one who takes My love and Good News to those who have never heard My name.

9. Here's a good one. There are individuals and whole families in your town who not only will have no "Christmas" tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don't know them, buy some food and a few gifts and give them to the Salvation Army or some other charity which believes in Me and they will make the delivery for you.

10. Finally, if you want to make a statement about your belief in and loyalty to Me, then behave like a Christian. Don't do things in secret that you wouldn't do in My presence. Let people know by your actions that you are one of mine.

Don't forget; I am God and can take care of Myself. Just love Me and do what I have told you to do. I'll take care of all the rest. Check out the list above and get to work; time is short. I'll help you, but the ball is now in your court. And do have a most blessed Christmas with all those whom you love and remember.

LOVE,

Jesus
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Scroll down and vote in the polls. Also, please take a moment to donate online to Homeless In America’s day-after-Christmas StreetReach for the poor living under the bridges and in alleyways of downtown Los Angeles. There is a need for water sponsors, $20 - food sponsors, $30 and monthly sponsors are needed for van insurance $50 and operation/upkeep $100. God bless you for your compassion and help for the 1000s of poor we serve: http://www.servantsofthefather.org/donation_homeless

Friday, December 18, 2009

If He obscurely came in poverty today, would the church know Him?

As we reflect on the fact that Christmas begins with “Christ.” Today, special for this Advent and Christmas journey, HIA launches a new poll for your consideration. Scroll down to near the bottom of this main page. How would you respond to the following . . .

The first time God entered our world, unrecognizable to the “church” – He came as a helpless baby, in a barn and as a migrant. He journeyed with 12 dirty, sweaty and uneducated homeless men. If He obscurely came in poverty today, would the church know Him?

* Yes, I think that most Christians would recognize Him.

* No, I think that most would be clueless.

God bless you and thank you for scrolling down and participating in all the Homeless In America polls.
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Please take a moment to donate online to Homeless In America’s day-after-Christmas StreetReach for the poor living under the bridges and in alleyways of downtown Los Angeles. There is a need for water sponsors, $20 - food sponsors, $30 and monthly sponsors are needed for van insurance $50 and operation/upkeep $100. God bless you for your compassion and help for the 1000s of poor we serve: http://www.servantsofthefather.org/donation_homeless

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

But I will Leave a Remnant in your Midst, a People Humble and Lowly . . .

Lord Jesus, you and your holy family were poor, so poor in fact that you became as beggars and went door-to-door pleading for a room. And so we know that You hear the cry of the poor! Lord, hear each one of us in our poverty of need. We’re broken and we long for your salvation. Come and transform our emptiness into fullness of life by your redeeming love.

R Lord, hear the cry of the poor!

For all the poor who are downtrodden and oppressed by the commercialism of the holiday season: May they be filled with your warmth, justice and peace. R

For the homeless who live under the oppression of constant movement and migration: May they now be granted eternal rest. R

For all those broken and oppressed by loneliness and emptiness in what should otherwise by a joyful season: May they be comforted by your friendship and companionship throughout the New Year. R

But I will leave a remnant in your midst, a people humble and lowly, who shall take refuge in the name of the Lord. Zephaniah 3:12
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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Share the Magic of Christmas!

Share the magic of Christmas! This year on Christmas Day, while 1000s of homeless may suffer from cold, depression and hunger, yet others according to your compassion and generous help will receive a nourishing SUBWAY sandwich meal, a one-on-one Christmas greeting, warm clothes and warm hug. To top it all off, the youth at St. Joseph’s have hand made over 100 Christmas greetings to enclose the SUBWAY cards. But we need your help to make the sandwich meals possible!

Please support the Christmas Day Servants of the Father of Mercy Homeless In America StreetReach as they hand deliver $5 SUBWAY FOOTLONG meal gift cards directly to homeless living on the streets of So Cal. Sponsor as many $5 gift cards as you wish, but in increments of $10 at http://www.servantsofthefather.org/donation_homeless

God bless you and thank you in advance for the help and hope you give our homeless family!

All gifts are tax deductible. Sending a check? Mail it to . . .
Servants of the Father of Mercy, Inc.
Attn: Christmas StreetReach
P.O. Box 42001
Los Angeles, CA 90042
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Also, please take a moment to donate online to Homeless In America’s day-after-Christmas StreetReach for the poor living under the bridges and in alleyways of downtown Los Angeles. There is a need for water sponsors, $20 - food sponsors, $30 and monthly sponsors are needed for van insurance $50 and operation/upkeep $100. God bless you for your compassion and help for the 1000s of Homeless we serve. Charity, kindness and compassion in increments of $10 at - http://www.servantsofthefather.org/donation_homeless

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Real Suffering of the Poor is in the Hypocrisy

Take it from Saint Faustina, a poor sister at the end of her life, writing from her convent worn out and weakened by the intense pain and abandonment of a slow death from tuberculosis. The real suffering comes not from the poverty of a terminal illness, but from those whom we count on, we break bread with, but who are living religiously hypocritical lives by being unkind to the sick and broken. Apparently, it is here that the poor suffer the most.
She writes the following to the Lord in her now famous 600 page journal …

"It is when I meet with hypocrisy that I suffer the most. Now I understand You, my Savior, for rebuking the Pharisees so severely for their hypocrisy. You associated more graciously with hardened sinners [than Religious] when they approached you contritely." Notebook V, #1579
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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

God-the-Baby in His Poverty is a Dramatic Shock to the World

by
Harry Reasoner
"The basis for this tremendous annual burst of gift buying and parties and near hysteria is a quiet event that Christians believe actually happened a long time ago. You can say that in all societies there has always been a midwinter festival and that many of the trappings of our Christmas are almost violently pagan. But you come back to the central fact of the day and quietness of Christmas morning - the birth of God on earth.

"It leaves you only three ways of accepting Christmas.

"One is cynically, as a time to make money or endorse the making of it.

"One is graciously, the appropriate attitude for non-Christians, who wish their fellow citizens all the joys to which their beliefs entitle them.

"And the third, of course, is reverently. If this is the anniversary of the appearance of the Lord of the universe in the form of a helpless babe, then it is a very important day.

"It's a startling idea, of course. My guess is that the whole story that a virgin was selected by God to bear His Son as a way of showing His love and concern for man is not an idea that has been popular with theologians. It's a somewhat illogical idea, and theologians like logic almost as much as they like God. It's so revolutionary a thought that it probably could only come from a God that is beyond logic, and beyond theology.

"It has a magnificent appeal. Almost nobody has seen God, and almost nobody has any real idea of what He is like. And the truth is that among men the idea of seeing God suddenly and standing in a very bright light is not necessarily a completely comforting and appealing idea.

"But everyone has seen babies, and most people like them. If God wanted to be loved as well as feared he moved correctly here. If He wanted to know His people as well as rule them, He moved correctly here, for a baby growing up learns all about people. If God wanted to be intimately a part of man, He moved correctly, for the experiences of birth and familyhood are our most intimate and precious experiences.

"So it goes beyond logic. It is either all falsehood or it is the truest thing in the world. It's the story of the great innocence of God the baby - God in the form of man - and has such a dramatic shock toward the heart that if it is not true, for Christians, nothing is true.

"So, if a Christian is touched only once a year, the touching is still worth it, and maybe on some given Christmas, some final quiet morning, the touch will take."
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Please take a moment to donate online to Servants of the Father of Mercy, Homeless In America’s Christmas StreetReach for the poor living under the bridges and in alleyways. There is a need for water sponsors, $20 - food sponsors, $30 and monthly sponsors are needed for van insurance $50 and operation/upkeep $100. God bless you for your compassion and help for the 1000s of Homeless we serve. Alms for the poor filled with charity, kindness and compassion in increments of $10 at - http://www.servantsofthefather.org/donation_homeless

Monday, December 7, 2009

On the Teen Beat

The Fort Collins Coloradan news writer Marcy Miranda reports today on a teenager, Ben Greuel who knows what it's like sleeping in a box. "You get so little sleep," the 14-year-old said. "It's so cold, and it's not very comfortable."

For the past three years, Greuel has been among several teens who spend a night camped out in the freezing cold sleeping in boxes and tents on the front lawn of Plymouth Congregational Church to bring awareness to the growing issue of homelessness.

This past Saturday night, Greuel was among about 40 teens who spent the night braving the cold and darkness along with other members of the church's youth group. Youths from Northern Colorado Jewish Youth, Foothills Unitarian Church, and local Mennonite and Quaker groups also camped out.

The youths collected food and outdoor gear such as hats, gloves and coats to donate to the homeless. They also collected monetary donations, which are donated to the Homelessness Prevention Initiative (HPI), a local nonprofit that provides temporary assistance to people at risk of becoming homeless because of their inability to pay rent. This year, the organization prevented about 3,700 families from becoming homeless.

As an example, Kurt Kaiser, who received assistance from HPI spoke to the teens giving a face to the statistics. The last year of his life has been one of the toughest, he said. His wife left him and his three sons. Two days later, he lost his job as the director of a community college in the state of Washington.
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Please take a moment to donate online to Servants of the Father of Mercy, Homeless In America’s Christmas StreetReach for the poor living under the bridges and in alleyways. There is a need for water sponsors, $20 - food sponsors, $30 and monthly sponsors are needed for van insurance $50 and operation/upkeep $100. God bless you for your compassion and help for the 1000s of Homeless we serve. Alms for the poor filled with charity, kindness and compassion in increments of $10 at -
http://www.servantsofthefather.org/donation_homeless

Friday, December 4, 2009

Just another God-smack!

In this story - the poor, the homeless and misfits come out the winners. What’s up with that?

"When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, "Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God." Jesus replied: "A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, 'Come, for everything is now ready.'

"But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, 'I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.' Another said, 'I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I'm on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.' Still another said, 'I just got married, so I can't come.'

"The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, 'Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.' 'Sir,' the servant said, 'what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.'

"Then the master told his servant, 'Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full. I tell you, not one of those men who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.' " Luke 14:15-24
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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Poverty and Need are at the Core of the God-Experience

“The poorest of the poor will find pasture, and the needy will lie down in safety.” (Isaiah 14:30)
What is your poverty? Are you weak or vulnerable in a certain way? Willing to admit it? Those who look for God in their poverty and need find themselves encountering what many have longed to encounter, but did not and many have longed to see and hear but did not. Poverty and need are at the core of the God-experience. Suffering, trials, tribulations and even death will take us to that poverty if we do not voluntarily embrace it now.
Psalm 12
For the poor who are oppressed
and the groaning of the needy,
I will now arise," says the LORD.
I will protect them from those who malign them.

And the words of the LORD are flawless,
like silver refined in a furnace of clay,
purified seven times.

O LORD, you will keep us safe
and protect us from such people [the wicked] forever.
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Please take a moment to donate online to Servants of the Father of Mercy, Homeless In America’s Christmas StreetReach for the poor living under the bridges and in alleyways. There is a need for water sponsors, $20 - food sponsors, $30 and monthly sponsors are needed for van insurance $50 and operation/upkeep $100. God bless you for your compassion and help for the 1000s of Homeless we serve. Alms for the poor filled with charity, kindness and compassion in increments of $10 at - http://www.servantsofthefather.org/donation_homeless

Monday, November 30, 2009

1000s of Words in Pictures

The day after Thanksgiving was not "Black Friday" for the homeless living under bridges and in the alleyways of downtown Los Angeles. It was another day of Thanksgiving while stocking up on food, water, jackets, blankets, Gospels of John, rosaries and other supplies. Servants of the Father of Mercy "Missioners" made it out bright and early eager to serve Jesus in the poor. From artist impostors and gang graffiti to the hungry and satisfied, you'll see it all!










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Please take a moment to donate online to Homeless In America’s Christmas StreetReach for homeless living under the bridges and in alleyways. There is a need for water sponsors, $20 - food sponsors, $50 and monthly sponsors are needed for van insurance $50 and operation/upkeep $100. God bless you for your compassion and help for the 1000s of Homeless we serve. Kindness and compassion in increments of $10 at - http://www.servantsofthefather.org/donation_homeless

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Why We Don't Judge the Poor, Homeless, Addict or Loser . . .

And yet it often happens that some who have been hardened, habitual sinners arrive at perfection of this work sooner than those who have never sinned grievously. God is truly wonderful in lavishing His grace on anyone He chooses; the world stands bewildered before love like this . . .

Some who are now despised and held in contempt (and who are even perhaps inveterate sinners) shall on that day reign in splendor with His saints. And perhaps some of those who have never sinned grievously and who to all appearances are pious people, venerated as “gods” by other men, shall find themselves in misery among the damned.

My point is that in this life no man may judge another as good or evil simply on the evidence of his deeds. The deeds themselves are another matter. These we may judge as good or evil, but not the person.

Excerpted from The Cloud of Unknowing – a Christian literary work written in fourteenth century Middle English by an unknown mystic.
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Thursday, November 26, 2009

"Picture This" Poll Passes

Recently a poll closed that surveyed attitudes about what many find as an awkward moment when encountering the poor. What do you do when a homeless person begs you for money? For the past six months, bloggers and readers were asked the following question in this regard . . . Picture this: You encounter a ragged, under nourished homeless person begging on a street corner. The person is asking for a $1.00. How would you respond? Here are the results:

* 57% thought they would go ahead and give the person the $1.00
* 0% said they would not give the $1.00 because they will in turn just go out and buy alcohol or drugs.
* 28% felt that they would take personal time, go to a market and come back with food/water.
* 14% were unsettled in their opinion saying, “I don't know what I would do. I'm always confused in these situations.”

Please scroll down to near the bottom of this main page and vote in all the polls. Your opinion counts!
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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Holiday Wishes

Thank you! God bless everyone for their help this Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Because of the many donors that helped out, about 8-10 homeless in Ventura will be able to go to a restaurant lunch tomorrow afternoon. On Friday morning - because of the many donors/clothing sponsors and "Missioners," the Servants of the Father of Mercy StreetReach is equipped to provide generous amounts of food, water, clothing, blankets and spiritual supplies to about 120 homeless living under the bridges and in alleyways of downtown Los Angeles. Thanks be to God for His making this weekend a success and thank you again to everyone for their help!

Happy Holiday wishes from all of our homeless family, misfits and losers to all of yours!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving Day Appeal

Yesterday, while passing out warm clothing, blankets, food and water to homeless men and women on the streets of Ventura, it was not a surprise to discover these poor souls have no plans and no ability to celebrate Thanksgiving Day the way many of us do. They have little family, little love and little food. We all agreed to meet at the "Vons Plaza" at around 12 noon on Thursday and take as many as possible to a local restaurant for a Thanksgiving Day lunch.

If everyone that reads this sponsors 1-2 homeless for $10-$20 this kind blessing can take place just as planned. If God has given you the extra blessings, generous donors are always appreciated!

Please easily donate today on line with a credit or debit card so PayPal can transfer the funds by Thursday to our main SFM account at Chase Bank - http://www.servantsofthefather.org/donation_homeless

Do you prefer to donate by mail? Send to:
Servants of the Father of Mercy
Thanksgiving Lunch
P.O. Box 42001
Los Angeles, CA 90042

God bless you and thank you for all your compassion and mercy for the Homeless In America we serve. Please forward today's blog to all your friends and family, they may wish to help. If there is any extra money, it will support a Christmas Day lunch for the homeless in Los Angeles.

Thank You & Happy Thanksgiving Blessings!
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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Teens Messaging the Homeless



Teenagers may be known for their many text messages, IM's and emails, but some teens have been handwriting messages to the homeless! Last Monday, the teens at youth night, Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Santa Paula, CA under the direction of Jackie, a mom from Saint Mary Magdalen's in Camarillo put a lot of thought and time into making 100 handmade Thanksgiving greeting cards for the homeless in So Cal. The cards will be included in sack lunches that a team will distribute at Homeless In America's StreetReach on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. "Some of the messages and greetings were quite touching," Jackie said as she perused the cards and got the stack ready for distribution. "It was great to see their generous hearts and kind thoughts come out so clearly in the writing of the cards!" she said.
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Friday, November 20, 2009

Falling Prey to the Ancient Whisper

The basis of all evil in the world has come from our lust for power. In the first murder of recorded history, Cain kills Abel because he chooses to have power over him. The entire world’s system depends on domination and control in order to have power over others. It is the basis of all wars and at the same time it is the basis of all division among friends, marriages and families.

We see this disordered play for power at the time of Christ. The world did not know Him because His power did not fit the domination mold. He showed that power could be obtained by the opposite behaviors of the world’s system. Jesus amassed a large following of thousands of people not through aggression and hostility, but through His love, kindness, humility and compassion. The world did not know power could be obtained in this way and so they did not recognize Him as the Messiah.

Nothing has changed since the beginning of recorded history. Domination and power in politics, the church and our own families sets up subtle snares. Whenever we imagine that we are in control of a life – our own or someone else’s – we have fallen prey to the ancient whisper in the Garden: “You shall be like gods.” Our own mortality however is the enduring reminder that we become like God not by our own power, but by the power of the cross.

Welcome to the Kingdom of God where power corrupts and where charity, compassion and humility give power. “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled and whoever humbles himself will be exalted” Matthew 23:12.
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Please take a moment to donate online to Homeless In America’s Thanksgiving StreetReach for homeless living under the bridges and in alleyways. There is always a need for water sponsors, $10 - food sponsors, $20 and monthly sponsors are needed for van insurance $30 and operation/upkeep $100. God bless you for your compassion and help for the 1,000s of homeless men, women and children we serve. Share love, kindness and compassion in increments of $10 at - http://www.servantsofthefather.org/donation_homeless

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Love is Greater than Faith

"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13:13

Faith is very important, however even Scripture says that love is greater than our faith! Do we really believe that? Do we live that way?

Do we live our lives making love more important than our faith? Do we routinely show mercy to others, do we go out of our way to give charity to co-workers, do we take extra time to serve the poor in our homes and neighborhood and do we love the least by giving them food, water, clothing and shelter?

"For in Christ Jesus . . . The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love." Galatians 5:6
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Please take a moment to donate online to Homeless In America’s Thanksgiving StreetReach for homeless living under the bridges and in alleyways. There is always a need for water sponsors, $10 - food sponsors, $20 and monthly sponsors are needed for van insurance $30 and operation/upkeep $100. God bless you for your compassion and help for the 1,000s of homeless men, women and children we serve. Share love, kindness and compassion in increments of $10 at - http://www.servantsofthefather.org/donation_homeless

Sunday, November 15, 2009

How God Uses Poverty, Injustice and Extreme Evil

Lord Jesus, in your poverty, You were so cruelly treated at the crucifixion that every drop of your blood and every drop of water in your body was poured out on the earth. The lacerations, the crown of the thorns, the nails in your hands and feet and piercing of your side left no doubt in anyone’s mind that You were dead. The very marrow of your bones withered up and You expired. Your torturers blatantly exalted evil to its highest degree, to the point that your death was obvious to everyone. It was clear and final. And yet, God your Father used the cruel evaporation of your body and obvious death to erase all doubts surrounding your resurrection. Poured out and spent on Calvary, and witnessed by all, no one could say that at the resurrection, or for that matter ages to come, “He somehow survived his torturers” or “He was nurtured back to life by crafty disciples.”

Isn’t it just like You O God to take extreme evil and because You are God, you can create an extreme good from it? You O Lord foreknew the coming resurrection and those torturers' game of extreme torment and death played right into your hands. Through their culture of inexplicable death, You used their actions to erase all doubt surrounding the soon coming resurrection. And You not only used their evil to erase all doubts then, but for all ages to come and even now.
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Please take a moment to donate online to Homeless In America’s Thanksgiving StreetReach for homeless living under the bridges and in alleyways. There is a need for water sponsors, $20 - food sponsors, $125 and monthly sponsors are needed for van insurance $50 and operation/upkeep $300. God bless you for your compassion and help for the 1000s of homeless we serve. Donate kindness and compassion in increments of $10 at - http://www.servantsofthefather.org/donation_homeless

Saturday, November 14, 2009

How Should We Think About the Poor?

On March 26, 1991, Bishop Kenneth E. Untener of Saginaw, Michigan, issued a “decree” that from that day forward, until July 1, 1991, all meetings held under Church auspices, at the parish or diocesan level, no matter what their purpose, must begin with the agenda item - "How shall what we are doing here affect or involve the poor?" The following are his reflections (briefly digested here at Homeless In America) as he looks back on the decree. The decree on the poor was in effect for 97 days.
by
Bishop Kenneth E. Untener

Never in my life had I talked about and listened to so much about the poor. On some days I had four or five meetings, and each began with "the poor".

I learned a lot, not only about the poor, but also about us, and how we think about (or don't think about) the poor. Believe me, I am no expert on the poor. But I learned eight things in particular during those 97 days.

1) We tend to forget the "poor" poor.

A typical scenario goes like this . . . The chairperson begins the meeting by saying something like, "Well, the bishop has asked that we begin each meeting with a discussion about how this affects or involves the poor. So we're going to spend a few minutes doing that. I'll throw it open for anyone who would like to say something."

Silence.

Then someone says, "Well, people can be poor in a lot of different ways. There are some people, for example, who don't have friends, and they are poor."

I interrupt. "I agree with you. But this decree has to do with the 'poor' poor. They are the ones who get left out, because they're usually not part of what we did yesterday or today. The 'poor' poor are the ones who rarely if ever are first on an agenda. So let's talk about them."

Mental note: Always start with the "poor" poor.

2) The poor are often "invisible."

The poor around us (as opposed to the ghetto, or some distant country) are often invisible. They aren't in our same "networks."

They aren't at the same gatherings.
They don't belong to councils or committees.
They don't always go to church (and if they do, they try hard not to look poor).
They don't bump into us at the mall or the supermarket.
Take tuition assistance at schools. We offer help for those who cannot pay full tuition—or cannot pay any tuition. But the poor often do not come forward. Why? It is announced in the parish bulletin. But the poor don't get the parish bulletin. [They are out of touch because they are so very poor.]

Mental note: It takes initiative and creativity to reach the poor.

3) The biggest problem is the "undeserving poor."

Place a child before us with a hungry face and ragged clothes and we jump at the chance to help. Poor children don’t make it hard to help the poor. Poor adults who have had bad luck don’t make it hard to help the poor.

The “undeserving poor” are the ones who make it hard to help the poor. They are the ones who seem to take advantage of the system, or other people. [But] help them anyway. If you start to distinguish between the deserving and the undeserving poor, you are finished—at least as far as the gospel is concerned. Who is really to decide if they are undeserving?

Mental note: If you're going to err, err on the side of generosity.

4) If you try to help the poor, you will sometimes get taken.

Every parish minister can tell stories of people who have come with a sad tale. You check it out very carefully, give them money—and later find out that they did the same thing at three or four neighboring parishes. Helping the poor has its risks. You will sometimes get taken.

Mental note: Learn to write off your losses.

5) Helping the poor is not always a pleasant experience.

It's no picnic helping the poor. There is often no feeling of fulfillment. It's work—like a lot of virtue is work—like taking care of an elderly parent is work.

The "poor" poor are not always so noble, and they are the hardest to deal with—which is probably why we don't.

Mental note: When you help the poor, you always receive more than you give—but it may not seem that way at the time.

6) Food baskets at Thanksgiving, toys at Christmas are good as far as they go—but they don't go very far.

People easily talk about direct help to the poor on special occasions—clothes, food, money. Those fine things shouldn't be taken lightly. But that is the easy part. The hard part is trying to do something about the poor's state in life.

The discussion always slowed when we tried to focus on this. Where do you begin? What do you do?

It's hard when you deal with the causes. How can we give them basic skills to manage their lives? What about health insurance? How do we help them find work? How do we help them find work that pays a living wage? Why are single parents, usually women, abandoned so easily by a spouse?

Mental note: Direct assistance is good. Tackling the causes is better.

7) Sometimes the poor are overwhelmed into inaction.

People who deal with the poor can tell a hundred stories about how they waste money and opportunities. You bring food to their home—and notice a large-screen TV. Whenever you visit, they are watching TV.

Why? Let’s try to put ourselves in their shoes.

It is a hopeless mess, [a big cluttered garage that you have wanted to clean for months or even years!] but today is the day you are going to tackle it. Getting started is the problem, because with a mess like that, there is no logical place to begin. [Like you] the poor can't get enough together even to get started—a down payment, transportation, protection from an abusive husband, an education.

Their life is like that all the time. It is too big a mess even to know where to begin. So they try to forget it by enjoying some "luxuries," having a beer, watching TV, etc.

Mental note: Don't judge their "laziness" too quickly.

8) The poor also help the poor.

People who work with the poor can tell a hundred stories about the “generous poor.” A family takes in a neighbor’s child without a second thought, because the child needs to be taken in somewhere. A person who has next to nothing gives money to someone who has nothing at all, simply saying, “Well, they need it more than I do.” A poor family in a small house takes in another family because they had their heat turned off in the dead of winter. Food is shared even though there isn’t enough to begin with.

Mental note: God loves a cheerful giver, which is one of the reasons why God loves the poor.
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Friday, November 13, 2009

This is our Prayer - "Have Mercy on Your People, Lord!"

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. Matthew 25:35


R Have mercy on your people, Lord!

+ For all the times we serve ourselves instead of serving You: R

+ May we learn to love You in the sick, the suffering and sorrowful: R

+ For all the times we remain comfortable and complacent while complaining and making our lives more complex: R

+ May we come to know You in the poor, the uneducated and the unloved: R

+ For all the times when we seek after things that bring no life, but drowsiness and death: R

+ May we love You in the unwanted, the widow, the migrant and the refugee: R

+ For all the times we have genuine need, may we find You in our community of faith: R
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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Lowly are Pardoned but the Mighty are put to the Test

Wisdom!
Hear, therefore, kings, and understand; learn, you magistrates of the earth's expanse! Hearken, you who are in power over the multitude and lord it over throngs of peoples! Because authority was given you by the LORD and sovereignty by the Most High, who shall probe your works and scrutinize your counsels! Because, though you were ministers of his kingdom, you judged not rightly, and did not keep the law, nor walk according to the will of God, Terribly and swiftly shall he come against you, because judgment is stern for the exalted - for the lowly may be pardoned out of mercy but the mighty shall be mightily put to the test. For the Lord of all shows no partiality, nor does he fear greatness, because he himself made the great as well as the small, and he provides for all alike; but for those in power a rigorous scrutiny impends. To you, therefore, O princes, are my words addressed that you may learn wisdom and that you may not sin? For those who keep the holy precepts hallowed shall be found holy, and those learned in them will have ready a response. Desire therefore my words; long for them and you shall be instructed. Wisdom 6:1-11
Psalm 82
R Rise up, O God, bring judgment to the earth!

Defend the lowly and the fatherless;
Render justice to the afflicted and the destitute.
Rescue the lowly and the poor;
From the hand of the wicked deliver them. R

I said: “You are like gods,"
All of you sons of the Most High;
Yet like men you shall die,
And fall like any prince. R
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Please take a moment to donate online to Homeless In America’s Thanksgiving StreetReach for homeless living under the bridges and in alleyways. There is a need for water sponsors, $20 - food sponsors, $125 and monthly sponsors are needed for van insurance $50 and operation/upkeep $300. God bless you for your compassion and help for the 1000s of Homeless we serve. Kindness and compassion in increments of $10 at - http://www.servantsofthefather.org/donation_homeless

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Social Justice or Social "Injustice"?

In her book, Failing America’s Faithful, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (daughter of Senator Robert Kennedy) builds a strong case that historically in America, both the Catholic and Protestant church have long traditions of social justice, charity and serving the poor. Throughout the 1800s - 1900s, the Catholic Church took up the responsibility of social justice with the establishment of 100s of hospitals, orphanages, the work of Mother Cabrini, Dorothy Day and more. In the 1960s, the Protestant Church with the backing of many Catholics took on the issue of civil rights and the poverty of minorities in America. They stood strong with Martin Luther King Jr. (a Southern Baptist) who found support with the likes of the Pope Paul VI and the President of the United States, John F. Kennedy (Catholic).

But have the past 25 years of trends in religion dethroned social justice to yield to social "injustice"? Have new trends taken the focus off charity and clouded the Gospel with judgment, self-righteousness and power leaving the modern-day church goer “fat, dumb and happy?”

Kathleen Kennedy (photo with Rev. Matt Malone) writes . . . “Not unlike those of the Catholic Church, the leaders of Protestant congregations have come to disregard the New Testament’s teachings on charity and justice and instead have focused their outrage on issues of sex and private conduct. Of course, these issues are not new to Protestant churches, especially Evangelical congregations. But the narrowness of the Protestant community, the moral myopia, is a break from our history and a betrayal of the proud Protestant tradition of progressivism.” (Failing America’s Faithful, Warner Books, New York, 2007, Pg. 92-93)

What do you think? Scroll down and vote in a new poll. Ponder the following question: "In your opinion, have Christians strayed from Christ’s Gospel of charity and placed too much focus on others’ personal sins resulting in abuse of power, control and self-righteousness in many political and religious sectors?"
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Please take a moment to donate online to Homeless In America’s Thanksgiving StreetReach for homeless living under the bridges and in alleyways. There is a need for water sponsors, $20 - food sponsors, $125 and monthly sponsors are needed for van insurance $50 and operation/upkeep $300. God bless you for your compassion and help for the 1000s of Homeless we serve. Kindness and compassion in increments of $10 at - http://www.servantsofthefather.org/donation_homeless

Monday, November 9, 2009

Canticle of Powerful Poverty

Wealth has always given people a false sense of power. Jesus however taught us what true power is all about. It is when we leave our “wealth” behind and personally enter the world of the poor that one becomes rich. "For you know the gracious act of Our Lord Jesus Christ, that for your sake He became poor although He was rich, so that by His poverty you might become rich." 2 Corinthians 8:9

Canticle of Powerful Poverty

[Jesus] Who, though he was in the form of God,
did not count equality with God
a thing to be grasped at,

But rather emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in the likeness of men.

And being found in human form,
he humbled himself by becoming obedient,
to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Therefore God has highly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name
that is above every name.

So that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bow, in heaven
and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is LORD,
to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:6-11
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Please take a moment to donate online to Homeless In America’s Thanksgiving StreetReach for homeless living under the bridges and in alleyways. There is a need for water sponsors, $20 - food sponsors, $125 and monthly sponsors are needed for van insurance $50 and operation/upkeep $300. God bless you for your compassion and help for the 1000s of Homeless we serve. Kindness and compassion in increments of $10 at - http://www.servantsofthefather.org/donation_homeless

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Did You Get Reality or the Sugar-coated Version?

The Apostle Paul says we are living in a “crooked and depraved generation … among who you shine like stars.” (cf. Philippians 2:15) Thomas Merton writes something similar in the introduction to his book, The Wisdom of the Desert . . . “Society was regarded [by St. Anthony and the Desert Fathers] as a shipwreck from which each single individual man or woman had to swim for his life . . . These were men [the Desert Fathers] who believed that to let oneself drift along, passively accepting the tenets and values of what they knew as society, was purely and simply a disaster.” (See Wednesday, November 4, 2009)

With all that said, here at Homeless In America, a new poll is launched today. What do you think? Did your parents, teachers & religious leaders prepare you for the “shipwrecked” human condition rampant in the world today? Or, do you think their message was sugar-coated. It left you to figure out the truth of our human brokenness on your own?

Please scroll down to the near the bottom of this main page and vote in this and all the Homeless In America polls. Thank you for your participation.
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Please take a moment to support Homeless In America’s Thanksgiving StreetReach for homeless living under the bridges and in alleyways. There is a need for water sponsors, $20 - food sponsors, $125 and monthly sponsors are needed for van insurance $50 and operation/upkeep $300. God bless you for your compassion and help for the 1000s of Homeless we serve. Kindness and compassion in increments of $10 at - http://www.servantsofthefather.org/donation_homeless

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Saint Faustina, Eye-Witness to Hell

We’ve all heard stories or met people that after witnessing a tragedy or worse yet being caught up in one like an automobile crash or sports accident, they received first-hand knowledge that altered their future behavior. For instance, they made a decision to drive safer, sell off the motorcycle or wear a helmet when playing sports. Unfortunately, it often takes a tragedy to wake up human behavior and inspire change.

A few days ago, a Homeless In America poll closed. Following a similar trend of thought as above, the following question was posed: “Like Saint Faustina, if you knew for certain the specifics of a place with eternal homelessness, "hell" - would you live your life differently than you are now?”

73% said “yes.” Apparently staying true to human behavior, the majority felt as though they would become more motivated to live life better, differently and more in accord with God’s will. 27% said “no.” They may feel as though they already are making great strides in heeding the warning signs along the pathway of life and are motivated to follow God’s ways without any further “eyewitness” motivations.
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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

We're All Shipwrecked!

Thomas Merton writes in the introduction to his book, The Wisdom of the Desert . . . “Society was regarded [by St. Anthony and the Desert Fathers] as a shipwreck from which each single individual man or woman had to swim for his life . . . These were men [the Desert Fathers] who believed that to let oneself drift along, passively accepting the tenets and values of what they knew as society, was purely and simply a disaster.”

Henri Nouwen writes in his book, The Way of the Heart . . . “This observation leads us straight to the core of the problem [why we don’t love as we should]. Our society is not a community radiant with the Love of Christ, but a dangerous network of domination and manipulation in which we can easily get tangled and lose our soul.”

To care for the poor and to love each other as Christ loves us apparently goes against the very fabric of all our human organizations and structures. Domination and manipulation is the rule as Henri Nouwen so astutely points out. However, the Desert Fathers encourage us to bail out of the boat, to swim on our own and embrace a new paradigm - the merciful, forgiving, patient and compassionate love of Christ. When we do this, we will transcend the world's system and as Paul puts it, "we are above the law." Love is both above the law and the fulfillment of the law. (cf. Romans 13:8-10)
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Please take a moment to donate online to Homeless In America's Thanksgiving StreetReach for homeless living under the bridges and in alleyways. There is a need for water sponsors, $20 - food sponsors, $125 and monthly sponsors are needed for van insurance $50 and operation/upkeep $300. God bless you for your compassion and help for the 1000s of Homeless we serve. Kindness and compassion in increments of $10 at - http://www.servantsofthefather.org/donation_homeless

Don't forget to scroll down and vote in the polls!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sweetness of Holy Charity

By Fr. Francois-Louis de Blois

All men, without any exception whatever, he must sincerely love as himself; that is, he must love them spiritually and in right order, desiring for them the grace of God and everlasting happiness. And that he may find it easier truly to love others, he should look upon every man as himself, because capable of divine union. He should look upon all as brothers and sisters, called to the same happiness as himself. He should consider in them, not the lowliness of their external persons, but the nobility and beauty of their invisible souls, made after the image of God.

He should sympathize with all who are in necessity, trial or misfortune. He should be ready to benefit, help and console all, without exception, but particularly those who are oppressed to him and persecute him. He must treat the imperfections of others with kind and merciful forbearance, healing and correcting any little bitterness he may feel in his heart with the sweetness of holy charity. But on the other hand, sins which he ought to correct and reprove he should not feign not to see, but the correction and reproof should be mingled with mildness and fitting gentleness. Sin must be hated in man, but not the man on account of the sin: for God made the man, but man, not God did the sin … Therefore, must the servant of God embrace everyone with kindliness of charity. He should grieve over the faults of others, and rejoice at their virtues, giving thanks to God; and this he cannot but do if he looks upon everyone, as himself.

Fr. Francois-Louis de Blois was the abbot of the Benedictine Abbey in Liessies, France and he died there in 1566.
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Please take a moment to donate online to Homeless In America's Thanksgiving StreetReach for homeless living under the bridges and in alleyways. There is a need for water sponsors, $20 - food sponsors, $125 and monthly sponsors are needed for van insurance $50 and operation/upkeep $300. God bless you for your compassion and help for the 1000s of Homeless we serve. Kindness and compassion in increments of $10 at - http://www.servantsofthefather.org/donation_homeless

Halloween Day Homeless StreetReach in Pictures

If a picture is worth a thousand words . . .




God bless everyone that donated to Halloween StreetReach online!

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Please plan today to take a moment and donate online to Servants of the Father of Mercy Thanksgiving StreetReach for homeless living under the bridges and in alleyways. There is a need for water sponsors, $20 - food sponsors, $125 and monthly sponsors are needed for van insurance $50 and operation/upkeep $300. God bless you for your compassion and help for the 1000s of Homeless we serve. Kindness and compassion in increments of $10 at - http://www.servantsofthefather.org/donation_homeless

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Does God Want us to be Concerned About the Poor?

Deut. 26:5-9. The Egyptians treated us harshly and afflicted us, and imposed hard labor on us. Then we cried to the LORD, the God of our fathers, and the LORD heard our voice and saw our affliction and our toil and our oppression; and the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with great terror and with signs and wonders; and He has brought us to... this land flowing with milk and honey.

Luke 4:16-21. And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read... "The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He appointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are downtrodden, to proclaim the favorable year of the LORD... Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing."

Ps. 140:12. I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and justice for the poor.

Is. 25:4. For You have been a defense for the helpless, a defense for the needy in his distress.

Ps. 10:14. The unfortunate commits himself to You; You have been the helper of the orphan... O LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will strengthen their heart, You will incline Your ear to vindicate the orphan and the oppressed.

Is 41:17. The afflicted and needy are seeking water, but there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst. I, the LORD, will answer them Myself, as the God of Israel I will not forsake them.

Luke 6:20-21. Blessed are you who are poor, for yours in the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.

James 2:5. Did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?

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Please take a moment to donate online to Homeless in America's Thanksgiving StreetReach for homeless living under the bridges and in alleyways. There is a need for water sponsors, $20 - food sponsors, $125 and monthly sponsors are needed for van insurance $50 and operation/upkeep $300. God bless you for your compassion and help for the 1000s of Homeless we serve. Kindness and compassion in increments of $10 at - http://www.servantsofthefather.org/donation_homeless

Friday, October 30, 2009

More About Winners and Losers ...

The Winners List

What do they all have in common? Jesse Owens, Olga Korbut, Cathy Rigby, Nadia Comaneci, Bruce Jenner, Mark Spitz, Mary Lou Retton, Greg Louganis, Dorothy Hamill, Peggy Flemming, Florence Joiner, Carl Lewis, Brian Boitano, George Forman, Dan Jansen, Babe Ruth, Sandy Koufax, Hank Aaron, Willy Mays, Nolan Ryan, Roger Staubach, Joe Montana, Troy Aikman, Dr. J., Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, David Robinson, Karem Abdul, Wilt Chamberlain, Larry Byrd, George Washington, Andrew Jackson, Ulysses Grant, Teddy Roosevelt, David Eisenhower, George Patton, Norman Scharzkoph, Lee Iacocca, Andrew Carnegie, The Rockefellers, Sam Walton, Dave Thomas, Norman Vincent Peale, Ronald Reagan, Abraham Lincoln, Harry Truman, Barbra Streisand, Clark Gable. What do these people have in common? They're all WINNERS! We all love WINNERS, don’t we?

Can we think of any famous LOSERS? Of course not! But who are God's winners and losers?

According to the Bible, a real WINNER is someone who is willing to LOSE themselves in service to God and man. (cf. Matthew 20:25-28)

The one who loses his or her pride, stubbornness, independence, self-reliance, selfishness, self-centeredness and gives up to God will WIN! (cf. I Corinthians 9:23-27 and Philippians 1:21 & 3:4-9)

If you really want to WIN in this life, you have to LOSE your life to find it. Whoever loses his life will gain eternal life. LOSE the idea that you can make it on your own. LOSE your pride and your arrogance and give your life totally to God. Like Christ, team up with the broken, humble, homeless and lost – then empty yourself with He who emptied himself. He left heaven and became poor for our sakes. Now He asks us to go and do the same.
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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Glare of Camera Flashes

Some of the rich, proud, powerful and the famous seem to be spared of all the human ills despite their apparent disregard for God. They don't suffer like the poor and the homeless. In the glare of camera flashes, their problems seem to be unreal as they live in the glitter of starlight. The public idolizes and imitates them. It all looks so sexy, so appealing. Why not? The Psalmist wrestles with the same problem as old as ancient Israel and yet as modern as today's tabloids.

Psalm 73
I saw that proud and sinful people were doing well.
And I began to long for what they had.
They don't have any troubles.
Their bodies are healthy and strong.

They don't have the problems others have.
They don't suffer as other people do.
Their pride is like a necklace.
They put on meanness as if it were their clothes.

Many sins come out of their hard and stubborn hearts.
There is no limit to their proud and evil thoughts.
They laugh at others and speak words of hatred.
They are proud. They warn others about the harm they can do to them.

They brag as if they owned heaven itself.
They talk as if they controlled the earth.
So people listen to them.
They lap up their words like water.

They say, "How can God know what we're doing?
Does the Most High God really know that much?"

Here is what sinful people are like.
They don't have a care in the world. They keep getting richer and richer. Psalm 73:3-12
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