Thursday, September 25, 2008

Stepping out of our comfort zones

When I first got the email about Charis’ Service Day on September 20th, I thought to myself “give up a Saturday at the end of summer to do some community service project, forget about it!” As I thought more about it, I reflected on how my parents were married at Our Lady of the Angels Parish in 1970. It might not be a bad idea to go back to the neighborhood where my mom and grandparents first immigrated to America. No longer a parish but now a rejuvenated mission, the Mission of Our Lady of the Angels is dedicated to doing good works to the neighbors of that west side neighborhood.

I had heard so much about Fr. Bob Lombardo, CFR and his progress at the Mission. I freed up my schedule and decided to participate. About four miles west of my house, I have not ventured out to this part of the west side. One hears about the theft and the drugs and the gangs and forgets about the real need of the good people that live in these poverty stricken neighborhoods.

I was asked to help sort and fold children’s clothes that were donated. I can’t say that I ever folded clothes sized newborn to 2T. What does 2T stand for anyway? I always think the interesting part about volunteering your time is that you never now what you will be asked to do. Although I will not get to meet the children or parents that would benefit from my service, I imagine the smiles on the mother’s faces knowing that their children have warm clothes this winter.

God calls us to perform acts of charity, through pure love for Christ. From the Catechism of the Catholic Church 1822: Charity is the theological virtue by which we love God above all things for his own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God. 1826: Charity is superior to all the virtues. It is the first of the theological virtues: "So faith, hope, charity abide, these three. But the greatest of these is charity."

I am glad I was able to volunteer at the Mission. I got an understanding of how they are trying make a difference in the neighborhood by having an active Catholic presence. Reflecting on my time there begs me to question: “How can I perform acts of charity on a regular basis, daily basis, continuous basis?”

-Lou S.

1 comment:

sonic327 said...

Lou, U rock! There is no doubt that charity gets us out of ourselves and unities us with the other. Personally I see self concern as the root of the majority of sin and thus then, charity the primary cure for the brokeness of the world. Godspeed to you and to Charis! -Zachar