My dear friends,
I would like to share with you in my own words some of the things The Lord has been sharing with me in recent times in regard to the poor and needy in the world and how the affluent often ignore them or do so little to help them.
There are many people who desire to help the poor knowing it is part of their love of God and of fellow man.
How can a person claim to love God if they do not love those whom He loves and whom He created? Love of others is an essential part of the Catholic Faith. So then if we love others how can we look upon those in need and not reach out in love to help them, as not doing so is to stop loving and to deny love in life.
How can those who claim to love God see themselves as more deserving than others and turn away from those in need, thinking or saying, ‘it is their own fault’ or ‘let someone else help them’?
Today people make many excuses for not helping the poor and for keeping what they have for themselves. There are many listening to the secular world before The Word of God and follow the way of greed, waste and selfishness. Today many of those who are part of the Catholic Church … which is the fullness of Christianity… and also many other Christians live a worldly faith focused on their own needs and desires, placing these before their faith and are blind to the fact that they do so. Society in many countries has drawn the faithful away from the faith and into self so that no longer can they be called faithful.
How many Catholics, how many Christians in the wealthy countries, when they see the poor and those who suffer with no means of overcoming their suffering, have an ache within their heart to help, a longing to reach out and comfort those in need or despair, a burning desire to do all they can to alleviate the suffering ?
Many have become so used of seeing the poor, the needy, the suffering on news reports that they take little notice.
So many see the hurt of the poor with eyes that are blinded to the people and think only for a brief moment about what is happening maybe hoping this will never happen to them.
So many from affluent countries believe it is their right to have a comfortable life and think only of the happiness and joy that they can find in life for themselves or maybe for their close family and friends.
Some people have forgotten that God gave all to mankind and he gave it to be shared equally by all. Some have forgotten that they are meant to share and have been seduced into the selfish ways of the world through their pride, desiring to keep what they have and desiring more and more for themselves.
These foolish people either do not realize or do not care that they have more at the cost of others who have less. Others who have their lives, their countries, and their communities exploited by the wealthy nations. Others who work like slaves for little or no wages. Others who give their lives in dangerous conditions as they toil to keep the wealthy happy.
Then, with the arrogance of the evil that blinds them, the people of the wealthy countries waste in large amounts that which would feed the poor, which would give those in need much of what they require.
Now is the time for all to reflect on how they live, how they waste, how they use more than is their fair share of God’s gifts to mankind. Now is the time for all Christians to actually start living as Our Lord, Jesus asks us to and not keep living to the ways of self-centered society.
Let us not use more than we need. Let us not take advantage of others. Now let us do what Christ Our Lord calls us to and that is to love and always to share with and to care for others.
Let us not do this in false ways that are there only to ease our consciences or make us feel better but let us do these things in true love of God and fellow man. It is not uncommon to hear Catholics say they fast on certain days which is a great spiritual blessing. However, some of these same people when the clock strikes one minute past midnight stuff themselves with food, eating what they missed out on the previous day, what sort of fast is that? When a person fasts and feels hungry they should think of those who feel hungry every day because they have no food. Then think of how they can help these poor people.
To fast is a wonderful way of opening oneself up to God in sacrificial love. However, the fast should be a true sacrifice, not just something that is done to make a person feel they are holy, or something they do because others are doing the same, or to get attention for themselves.
In Holy Scripture does it not say that when you fast not to let others know and not to let every one see how you suffer for God.
Matthew 6 : 16 - 18 ‘When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you’.
How many times have you heard someone tell you they fast!
Also it would be far better when a person fasts to put aside the money saved from the food they did not eat and give it a church charity like Caritas to be used to feed the hungry. Doing this brings tangible as well as spiritual benefits to others in need through the fast. It is important that any monies given be given only through Catholic Church organizations like Caritas and not to foundations or projects set up by lay people or secular charities as these often keep most of the money for themselves for ‘administration costs’ etc.
The call from Christ today is the same as it has always been and that is not to think of self first but think of God and of others before yourself.
This call is the complete opposite to the call of the world but it is the call we should all listen to if we are to truly be followers of Our Lord, Jesus Christ.
God bless you all,