The Gospel says the poor is where one will find God. Those who are suffering, mocked,
and /or excluded fit this category. How challenging it is to be present to them! After all,
one may ask, “do I not have enough troubles of my own?” At times, this is true. However,
we actually suffer less by focusing on the suffering of others. Still, this is not the
sole reason for assisting; for Christians, Jesus and many of the saints are the role models
for loving others. We are uniquely created in the image of God and believe we have at least a
little of the divine residing in each and every one of us- that includes all humankind, not
just a select few! Nevertheless, Henri Nouwen says do not be discouraged by the imperfect love of
people nevertheless; instead trust the boundless love of God’s spirit that lives in you.
The above no doubt means that if you truly love and forgive yourself for not being
flawless, then you allow the divine within to not only accept yourself more fully but to
accept others as they are better. For example, if we permit someone to help us because
we are sick, we may come to express gratitude towards the care-giver rather than
complaining incessantly about our predicament. Indeed, if we allow God to “speak to us”
we may find ourselves, eating better, exercising more and discussing our spiritual lives
Indeed, Jesus says to his disciples in Matthew 5:13 -16, that “you are the light of the world …
you must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your
heavenly Father [Mother]. Yes we shine for God if we visit the sick and marginalized
whether they be strangers, acquaintances, or members of our family.
Peace be with you!
Acknowledgements: Henri Nouwen, Network for Grateful Living, Richard Rohr