The first duty of a Christian is to give freely that which he has received freely: in bringing the Good News, in being light for the person who is in darkness, in sharing the joy of faith in the Word of God. The appeals in our world to a spirit of love and of charity are truly many. Poor persons who ask for help, sick persons who need moral support, older persons who suffer from solitude, young persons rendered helpless by depression or driven crazy by drugs, countries in which hunger, sickness and tribal warfare decimate so many lives. When St. Vincent urges us to: “strive to do good”, he is speaking not only about a commitment to doing things, but also to being sensitive, to being attentive to the needs of ones neighbour …
“I would wish to be perpetually in the hospitals, in the prisons and to be in every place on earth in order to alleviate the sufferings of the poor and the illness of the sick;…but to do so in a manner which goes unseen. Except by God alone… I would wish to became food to satisfy the hungry, clothing to clothe the naked, drink to quench the thirst of the thirsty, liqueur to fortify the weak; soft feathers to give rest to the weary limbs of the exhausted, medicine and health to heal the sick, the lame, the crippled, the deaf, light to enlighten the blind both spiritually and corporally, life to raise up the dead… so that they could do the great things that they would do for the glory of my God, my Father, my Creator, my Good, my All, if they came back to this earth again… and for this I offer myself to suffer whatever suffering, disgrace, even infinitely, but with your grace and loving infinitely but without being noticed. My God, my God, my God” (OOCC X p. 114-16)
Let us avoid remaining immersed in that superficiality which prevents us from seeing the suffering all around us. Let us ponder on the fact that charity produces miracles of consolation, even when it is made up of small things such as a listening ear, a smile, a caress.
V.Pallotti by Sr.Julitta Gołębiowska SAC; collage: Sr. Miriam Studzińska SAC