Posts Tagged ‘Catholic’

Okay, I am using numbers in my title. Not for “hits” but because that’s how many days are in Lent.

Someone shared an activity to do during Lent. A challenge of sorts.

Now, I am not a good Catholic. Since I moved overseas I have hardly attended Mass. But I still consider myself to be Catholic. There are a few things I still do that might be Catholicky.

I abstain from meat on Fridays when I remember what day it is. 🙂 I try to eat smaller portions of just two meals. I also make a conscious effort to think about others and do something for the less fortunate.

I mean it’s the absolute least I can do.

So this challenge.

Grab a trash bag. Each day take an item of clothing that you don’t use or need out of your closet or drawers. At the end of Lent there will be a bag filled with clothes that can be donated to someone in need.

Wait, I can go into my closet and bang out forty items right now! In a matter of fifteen minutes.

Boom! Bag filled and ready to go.

Better yet, I could just write a check to cover the cost of forty clothing items. And be done with it. Something my husband and I do for certain causes/charities we support.

But that’s very easy.

Too easy.

Don’t get me wrong. We need the checks in this world. And we need a quick fifteen minute decluttering of closets now and again.

But going into a closet every day actually causes me to reflect. Every single day. For forty days. To think about others. What their lives might be like if they don’t have clothes to wear. It makes me feel grateful each day. Appreciating that I have a roof over my head, clothes to wear, food, water, transport, health and more. When so many in the world have none of these.

So, I think this is a fabulous idea. For anyone. At any time.

Thinking about others and making a difference, no matter how small, in someone’s life is really what matters.

Being grateful is the gravy.

 

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Many generous people in our community drop off donated items at my home. Don’t even always know who is doing the dropping. Could be clothes, household decor, toys or linens.

They do this because it helps them clear out their homes. And they also want to help others in the process.

My friends and I will send the donations to the refugee center. Or we will sell the items at our frequent garage sales with the proceeds supporting the refugee center and its programs.

It’s not always junk. Just things people no longer need or want.

Sometimes I receive things and I’m not even sure what they are.

There was the time my friend and I put aside a “camera lens” to see if her friend’s son would be interested in buying it. He was a photography buff.

We handled the lens more than once. I said to her, “It just seems so light.”

She agreed.

I think it was my daughter who finally set us straight. It wasn’t a lens but a coffee cup designed to look like a camera lens. LOL. You can google images.

I’ve had a few chuckles sifting through the boxes over the years. Like the time my friend, Lone, sent over some bags. She was donating a beach towel of mine!

My other friend received bags from two different families and found two shirts of her son’s and one of hers.

We’ve gotten valuable gold jewelry donated by mistake.

The sorting of it all can be overwhelming at times but it’s needed. Definitely needed.

One time I found a hand-written note. The donations were from a friend who was helping out a lady clear out her late husband’s belongings. I can’t remember if it was an expression of gratitude or what but I was glad I could return the note.

Or the photograph of my Australian friend and her daughter, who was a toddler at the time, taken when they lived in India.

Yesterday, a friend dropped off a bunch of bags in preparation for her move back to the U.S.

I sent her a text thanking her.

I also had to add, “And thanks for your son’s wallet loaded with Malaysian money as well as U.S. bills!”

You never know what you will discover.

This is where I veer off topic a bit.

I would later find out that while I came across this wallet my daughter had lost hers at school.

Called me from school to let me know. Was upset. The wallet had been our Christmas gift to her. So that bothered her but it was more about the contents. Which included her grandfather’s funeral card, a note from her Dad and photos of her loved ones.

We are pretty sure it’s been located so that’s good news. Waiting for confirmation.

But isn’t it strange that I found a wallet and my daughter lost hers at the very same time?

Weird.

Back to topic.

If you are donating items don’t forget to check those pockets. The pages. The bags. The everything.

Off topic.

If you do lose something-even if you aren’t Catholic-a prayer to St. Anthony won’t kill you.

When my daughter called to tell me about the wallet I said, “Say the prayer.”

She replied, “I will.”

I asked, “Do you know it? Say it out loud to me now.”

She said, “St. Anthony, St. Anthony, please come down. Something has been lost and must be found.”

I then let her off the hook. The telephone that is.

Hope you all find everything you are looking for this week!

JBM

 

 

 

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Not Them But Us

Was looking at Facebook the other day and my old parish in Texas had posted a newspaper article about helping others. It was about the Ebola virus. What grabbed my attention was not the illness but the quote from Bishop Farrell.

“We help people because we’re Catholic, not because they’re Catholic.”  He continued,“It is an example of what it means to care for our brothers and sisters .. irrespective of where they come from, what race or what religion they were.”

They provided a comfortable place for a family to live while waiting to see if they had contracted the Ebola virus.

I really thought about this. Not just because caring for others is one of the seven themes of Catholic social teaching.

But because as humans (not Catholics, Muslims, Jews, etc.) we need to see more of this. We do because of who we are not who they are.

I have heard loads of comments (first hand and second hand) about the people I help.

“Oh, you’re helping the Muslims.” And not in a good way or tone.

“You know what those people do to Christians?” Not in a good way or tone.

And on and on…..

Charity begins at home. And then community. And that community might share your religion. But it might not.

One thing I learned as a little kid was that you have an obligation to help the poor. Might be filling a purple cardboard box with pennies for Lent when you are six years old.

No one ever said that they were Catholics. Or even Christians. We just knew that they were poor.

I hope that if you are reading this, no matter what your religion or even if you have no religion, that you don’t give a darn what religion a person is that you are helping. Might take a bit of introspection. But I hope that you really do look inward.

Because if you don’t then I worry. Not about you but about the entire human race.

We don’t just help our own. We are our own.

http://www.dallasnews.com/ebola/headlines/20141020-ebola-victim-s-fiancee-family-to-remain-at-catholic-diocese-conference-center-till-new-home-found.ece

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