A man who was poor

Yesterday at a workshop for our parish missionaries, based on the theme of the family, our pastor had us share in groups of five some memories of our childhood.

In our group, one man shared, simply and straightforwardly, without any self-pity, memories of his childhood poverty. In particular, he noted how poor his clothes were.

As he spoke I could only think of him – and of others – who were clothed in rags. As I look back, I realize that at that moment I also felt a strong sense of compassion rising up within me. I had not thought much of this man, but now I have a deeper sense of his life, then and now.

From his sharing about his childhood poverty,God opened me to love.

This morning I thought of the words of St. Peter Faber, SJ, on a holy card I’ve had since 1967:

Christ in so great poverty, I in so great wealth.

Lord, give me compassion. Help me to feel with the poor and lovingly accompany them.

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