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  • Deacon Dan Wright serves the Diocese of Austin, Texas. His work outside the parish is as a special education teacher serving students with significant cognitive disabilities.

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  • Family activities, spirituality, liturgy, Christian apologetics, social justice topics, special education issues, and promoting the peace and unity of the human family.
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January 22, 2007

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Carol

The above are the words of a praying man, and there is a difference between humanly passionate advocacy and a praying man, which I think Jesus pointed to without a reference in word. I think praying (humble union) is why He so loved John and asked Him to be the first to take in His mother, why He pronounced "Boanerges!" with a twinkle in His eye (perhaps I am mistaken all these years--perhaps it was Zebedee's thunder He actually referred to--a praying man who gave Jesus two sons with which to help strike lightning in hearts!), and although we never hear originally that Peter was an actively praying man, Jesus knew he was, of course.

How flat are words on the pages of the Bible, especially when read in monotone (which is so well meant), but I believe Jesus was thrilled -- thrilled! -- the day he said to Simon Peter, "No man has told you this, but my Father in Heaven!" I believe yours today is a Jesus-thrilling post, DDW.

You have not romanticized the poor here, nor blamed me and anyone else who has enough, for their plight. You have extended an invitation to do something practical even if spiritual, and that is what is most needed.

I must say that just as when I thought long ago (and without glee), "Time is a great equalizer," upon finding out that even the wealthy, gorgeous, parochial-schooled pom-pom girls could fall from grace just as hard as I did, death is the great equalizer. There are only poor people around even in the wealthiest funerals.. poverty of loss. Loss is added unto time as being the great equalizer, for we all know this terrible poverty. When my mom died in my arms and I then had to call the undertaker, my mom's best friend from an upstairs apartment came down to bring my little girls up and away from this unfathomable-to-them scene. But poor Bea, poor like my mom and now absolutely destitute in spirit, gave a little sob as she went out the door, and I felt so bad that I could not comfort her. She had lost yet someone else, and for a woman on oxygen with 12 major operations behind her, it was her greatest poverty to date.

There are I hope street doctors, and there for sure are street nurses (needed.. more always needed) -- and indeed, there should be street Deacons.. and consider the ramifications of our being nuked someday - what won't be desperately needed out on the street? Either way, we all are always just a few heartbeats away from being homeless. Prosperity can disappear in an eyeblink. I've never seen so many in soup kitchens and crisis shelters. Oh, amen..people, get ready. Give Jesus the ministries He dreamed of.

Yes, mercy meals are the place to start, if possible. And it is possible.

Carol

Sometimes we have a tendency to say to ourselves what God wants us to hear, sometimes that is what folks preach, and I am usually as unaware of this as anyone..initially. It is wise to keep our balance at all times: A friend has pointed out that prayer (inwardly, that is) is the greatest action of all, of love and advocacy. Amen, little one. Therese never left the convent and died at 24. One needs say no more than that, to highlight the point.

Gabrielle

Yet both are needed; much is required. I think we must just be careful not to judge each other's calling.

The ministry Deacon Dan speaks of here is something very beautiful, arising from love, and recognizing the dignity of all persons. My husband volunteers at a local soup kitchen, which feeds sometimes 450 people at lunch. One day there was a man eating lunch, and one of the permanent staff members said that he was actually dying, and would be gone within days. When my husband told me about this later, I asked him where the man had gone after he had finished eating, but he didn't know, because they had all been so busy serving. Nobody knew. And now, it is probably too late.

C

Yes, too late for any of us to help, because there a r e s o m a n y...
but they never leave the eye of God. Many of us come into this world alone, even if twins, and we live mostly alone together, but we go to where Everyone knows our name (and I don't mean the saloon in Boston). I don't mean to slap an "Ah, well" onto it - this medium is terribly limited for communicating, but there are millions of unseen among us dying, across the globe. We will each and all do what we can, and we shall be thankful for some that human life has only been a few decades long.

Your prayer came to that man, and held him. Who could doubt it?

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