“You are God’s chosen ones, his saints; God loves you, and you should be clothed in sincere compassion, in kindness and humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another, forgive each other as soon as a quarrel begins. The Lord has forgiven you; now you must do the same. Over all of these clothes, to keep them together and complete them, put on love…Always be thankful.” Colossians 3
Political speeches fill the airwaves. While listening to the President deliver the State of the Union, he actually bragged about how good it is that the USA spends more on military spending (he said “defense”) than the next 8 countries combined. Meanwhile the GOP debates included a litany of our enemies and how we are going to blow them to smithereens. The Democratic debates were filled with expensive promises that won’t be possible if we continue to squander our wealth on war and upgrading our nuclear arsenal.
In the shadow of “Government speak,” our life of feeding, sheltering, educating, clothing and befriending the poor makes more and more sense. At the Catholic Worker we try to be “kind” and “patient” and understanding of the poor because we know that it is freezing outside. We see how hard it is to be hungry and how painful it is not to have enough for your children. We know first hand the difference between living in Atherton and Silicon Valley and living on the streets. The massive gap between those at the top (1%) and the rest of us grows by leaps and bounds every month. In the words of Dorothy Day, Catholic Workers must “ask forgiveness from the poor for the bread we give them.” We ask for forgiveness daily.
The homeless that we all see in doorways and tents should remind us that there are millions of our BROTHERS AND SISTERS on the move in Europe; and they are running from war. They are leaving all in the middle of winter and are so desperate that they cross the raging waters with their families. The children and the elderly seem to risk the most. God forgive us if few lack compassion.
As the weeks of Lent progress, we will hear calls for repentance for our sins. Our Lenten prayer will be that our God will continue to call us to believe the truth that we are all one family– the Body of Christ. The answer is LOVE.
“If I have all the eloquence of men and women, or of angels but speak without love, I am simply a gong booming or a cymbal clashing.” 1 Corinthians
Have a holy Lent,
Larry Purcell, Ronnie Georges, Sr. Mary Jane Floyd,
Jan Johanson, Aida Figueroa, Susan Crane,
and J. Arthur White.
P.S. Will you be our Valentine?
1. Food in any amount.
2.Household needs: a storage shed (large), vacuum cleaner, reusable shopping bags, shopping baskets with wheels, laundry detergent (unscented), toilet paper, paper towels, toothpaste, can openers, a large suit case, Kleenex, large garbage bags etc.
3. Transportation: Bikes, locks, lights, cars, trucks, RV’s.
4. Homeless needs: sleeping bags, warm jackets, tents, sleeping pads, socks, tarps and other camping equipment. Call Susan at (650) 366-4415
5. Day Laborers: If you need a great worker (carpenter, plumber, handyman, painter, hauler, gardener, etc) then call the Day Laborer hiring program at (650) 339-2794.
6. A house or money to buy a house for a new Catholic Worker. Call Larry for a free cup of coffee. (650) 366-4415.
7. Your ongoing love and support.