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Our Real Mission

Dawn Eden’s post struck a chord with me today. She links to an account by Cassidy Bugos, a college student who worked for a few weeks with the Missionaries of Charity in Tiajuana Mexico. The insight this young woman gained during her interaction with one of the nuns is a true gift of grace. I feel blessed to have read her story.

She said that that in India, material poverty is much, much greater than anything she’s seen in the West, and so she is never really impressed by what she sees here. Here, people suffer from poverty, but they do not die just from it; there they will die tomorrow if they do not get food…

She went on. Here in the West, she said, it is different. Here most poor people have enough, even though they don’t understand how little “enough” is. But they are unhappy, she said (and she knelt to look through the rear window at the tired faces of the mothers gathered outside the van, as the other Sister led them in Santa Marias before distributing their food). They are unhappy, because they have no God. That is the real poverty. The farther North you go in America, she added, the more wealth you see, and the less joy you find. Those people, she said, looking seriously at us, the depressed, and the sad people “with no God and a great big house”, are the poorest of the poor. That’s what Mother Teresa meant. It is hard, she added with a sigh, to find Christ in them. Sometimes we must put Him there. And she added quietly, “That, girls, at your home, that is your real mission, no?”


That is a mission for all of us to embrace. We cannot ignore the material poverty around us. Yet the most dire poverty in our midst is often spiritual. May we bring Christ to feed the souls around us.

Comments

bookstopper said…
That's what I see in many cities around the US, and with it, a lack of emphasis on spiritual forms of charity threaten to let the spiritual gulf grow deeper here.

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