I have come to fall in love with teaching in Catholic schools. What are YOU in love with?...

"Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you will do with your evenings, how you will spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything." - Pedro Arrupe

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Least

As I sit here writing this, I'm not really sure where to start. Ever since I've been back from my trip to the Holy Land, I've been pondering more and more about the purpose of life - both my own and those of everyone around me. Things like what happened yesterday just really get me thinking...and it's hard not knowing the answers...

Yesterday, I was on the L (en route to my hair appt), when a young-ish gentleman came aboard:

"I know you all don't want to hear this, and I'm sorry that I'm pissing you guys off by doing this, but I need help. My right leg is swollen to almost twice the size of my left one - I'll show you (which he did). I need $19 to fill a prescription for Cumatin, it's a blood-thinner. I don't have insurance, I got laid off. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I hate begging. I hate my life - my G** you don't know how much I hate my life right now...I'm sorry..."

How heartbreaking to hear that. And coupled with the recent news about Robin William's suicide after a battle with depression, it makes me wonder what gets a person to such a desperate state. And it also makes me wonder what we, as a society (and as individuals), can do to reach out to people in need.

I know I can't give money to everyone on the street or everyone who asks - or, then again, maybe I can...but I don't. But there has to be something.

So much of where we go and get to in life seems predetermined at birth - who our parents are, where we live, who we know...I've always taken it for granted - the fact that I was able to pursue (practically free of cost) a Bachelor's and then Master's degree, the idea that I have chosen to live in Chicago, the way I still have a little money to spend on entertainment/charity/school/etc. after rent and food costs... Not everyone can do that. And, yeah, I had to work to get these things, but I started out in a pretty good place with people (my family, teachers, friends, etc.) who helped me along the way.

But what about people who don't have that? What are we doing to help them?

Like I said at the beginning of this post, I don't have the answers. I'm just begging the questions right now. And I apologize if this seems like a rant or some kind of tangent - that was not my intention.

So, for tonight, I'll leave you with this thought:

While at Theology on Tap tonight, Fr. James Martin (with whom we were Skyping) brought up the "litmus test" of getting into heaven: Matthew 25 - "Whatsoever you have done to the least of my people, that you have done unto me..." It is said that a society can be judged by how it treats its least and most vulnerable. On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate us today?

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