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Current Events Discipleship Faith Formation Ink Slingers Martina Pope

When A Child Responds to Pope Francis’ Call to Feed The Hungry

Recently, we were blessed and humbled to receive correspondence from a mother who is rightly and deeply touched by her young son Alex’s devotion to feed the hungry, in response to Pope Francis message and example of feeding the hungry. With her permission, we are running her letter to us to let you know about Alex, who made local news by donating the money he was gifted for his First Holy Communion to a local kitchen to feed those without food. We at Catholic Sistas were inspired and we think you will be, too.

 

I am a subscriber to your blog and would like to thank you for the articles and pinterest photos that you share every day. It’s really helping me along with my faith journey.

I wanted to bring this piece of local news to your attention. It’s about my son, Alex. He just made First Holy Communion in May and received money for the occasion from friends and family (they didn’t know what he was planning to do with their gifts). He decided to donate all of it to the local Ecumenical Kitchen. He is very inspired by Pope Francis and said to me “if we don’t help the hungry, who will?” He donated $465 and fed about 350 people. We spent the afternoon with the patrons and Alex (with his brother Gabriel and my husband) shared a meal with them. It was just beautiful.

Well, here’s the link to the news piece. I thought if you felt so inclined to post something where it would be seen by more people in the hopes that they, too would help the hungry and helpless in their local communities, well that would just make Alex’s day.

God Bless You,

Cristina

Cristina has also given us the link to her blog post that features more details on this story. Please visit to read more!

HOW CAN I HELP?

Now that you’ve been inspired – and how could you not!, you might be wondering how you can help! Here are just a few ways you can help out the homeless who are often seen {at least in my neck of the woods, in Austin} on street corners at stop lights.

  1. Pray. When you see someone standing at the corner asking for food, a job, etc., toss up a prayer for them. Prayer may not feel like much on our end because we are a people who like tangible results, but prayer is always a powerful tool that we should employ anytime someone is in need. 
  2. Bottled water. Keep a case of bottled water in your car for those occasions when you see the homeless out on the streets. When stopped at a stop light, you can roll down your window and hand them some water to quench their thirst. We used to see the same man at the stop light, so one day I handed a bottle to my daughter and rolled down her window to hand it to the gentleman. She got a kick out of helping and his face lit up to receive water from a sweet little face.
  3. Non-perishable meal kits. Using staples around the house, you can put together a tuna and crackers kit you buy at the store {usually comes with a spoon and is easy to assemble}, some applesauce, a bottle of water and a napkin, and put everything into a lunch bag. You can even write on the bag little notes of encouragement that might help ease their burden for even a moment.

Do you have any suggestions you’d like to share? Please post in the comboxes!

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Current Events Pope Rachel M

This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

When we consider that the Mass is an earthly glimpse into heaven, it can be difficult to stomach that so much of the beauty and richness of the Catholic history is sometimes lost among Marty Haugen and berber carpet. We look at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and our home parish, and it’s fair to say for most of us, that there is no comparison to be made at all. But, it is difficult for any person, Catholic or not, to dispute the beauty of a High Mass in a 300 year old Cathedral with incense, costly vestments, and extreme reverence.

Still, the Church gets a bad rap in today’s secular world for valuing beauty for our God.

It’s difficult to avoid criticisms such as this in our media. They are everywhere.

What these critics don’t understand is that the Church doesn’t lavish the Pope with beautiful vestments and accessories because he has power, but because he has apostolic succession and is THE man chosen by God through the Holy Spirit to lead us. He is a living, breathing, speaking intercessor between heaven and earth.

We aren’t celebrating the man, but the office instituted by Jesus himself, which ultimately points back to Him. The Church is, “upheld infallibly in the truth: Christ governs her through Peter and the other apostles, who are present in their successors, the Pope and the college of bishops.” CCC 869. In the liturgy, the priest acts in persona Christi capitis, as the person of Christ the head. The Mass is not meant to be a barren service, but a joyful, extravagant celebration in union with the Mass in heaven. The Pope is not the head of our Church, Jesus is.

Even in His time, Jesus faced the same ridicule. “Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil made from genuine aromatic nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair; the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. Then Judas the Iscariot, one [of] his disciples, and the one who would betray him, said, ‘Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days’ wage  and given to the poor?’ He said this not because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief and held the money bag and used to steal the contributions. So Jesus said, ‘Leave her alone. Let her keep this for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.’” John 12:3-8 NAB

In Exodus chapter 26, God gives Moses very specific directions on creating a tabernacle. That’s right, a whole chapter of Exodus is devoted to the lavish and opulent design that God asks Moses to use when creating His tabernacle. There are to be 40 silver pedestals, beautiful fabrics, gold plated columns, and on and on. This is what God asked for, we humbly oblige.

We clearly live in a culture that grossly misunderstands our motives. The Church is not some rich entity greedily keep all of it’s money for itself.  In his inaugural homily, when discussing the papal tiara, Blessed Pope John Paul II, said “Pope John Paul I whose memory is so vivid in our hearts, did not wish to have the tiara; nor does his Successor wish it today. This is not the time to return to a ceremony and an object considered, wrongly, to be a symbol of the temporal power of the Popes.”

This is why it makes me sad to say, that in these days, when The Church is so highly censured for so many reasons legitimate and not, it may be time for us to put away the beauty of the past for a while. As Blessed Pope John Paul said, we have to put away these things of beauty for a time, until there is no longer power associated with luxury.

Pope Francis has continued to scale back some of the pomp and circumstance in the way he celebrates the liturgy, and look at the praise he is receiving in the secular world. He chose to keep his simple black shoes over the red papal shoes that were so highly admonished, and suddenly The Church is now somehow more in tune with the common man, as if those shoes could have purchased meals for every hungry child in Africa. Papa Francis is humbling himself, in order to show his flock how to be humble.

Blessed Pope John Paul II continued in his homily, “Our time calls us, urges us, obliges us to gaze on the Lord and immerse ourselves in humble and devout meditation on the mystery of the supreme power of Christ himself.” He said “our time”, not forever, but now we are called to be especially humble.

We can take the example of these two loving Papas, and think of our current sacrifices as a Church as the olive branch. In the eyes of many, The Catholic Church still has much to atone for, so we must now act as servants to all to show the world that we are who we say we are. That we love every man and woman because every human being is made in the image and likeness of God.