Heavier than a Bowl of Soup

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Let me nudge you to resist the condescending tendency to see those whom we serve as recipients of our merciful goodwill. “In fact, we likely are privileged beneficiaries of an unjust system that perpetuates their misery.” Thus Vincent de Paul wrote:

You will find out that Charity is a heavy burden to carry, heavier than a bowl of soup and the full basket. But you will keep your gentleness and your smile. It is not enough to give soup and bread. This the rich can do. You are the servant of the poor, always smiling and good-humoured. They are you masters, terrible, sensitive and exacting masters, as you will soon see. The uglier and the dirtier they will be, the more unjust and insulting, the more love you must give them. It is only for your love alone, that the poor will forgive you the bread you give them.

Vincent de Paul (1581 – 1660)

“This final sentence points to the fact that the fullness of love can bear to look the hungry or homeless neighbour in the eye only when it also examines why social inequality and injustice persists.”

From “One Hope: Re-Membering the Body of Christ

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About R.H. (Rusty) Foerger

As I enter the third third of life, I am becoming aware of the role of elders today “to enlarge spiritual vision, being devoted to prayer, living in the face of death, as a living curriculum of the Christian life” (Dr. James M. Houston). I am a life long and life wide learner who seeks to: *decipher the enigma of our worth *rescue from the agony of prayerlessness *integrate spiritual friendship.
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2 Responses to Heavier than a Bowl of Soup

  1. Pingback: Noseblind to our own Scent | Curriculum of the Spiritual Life

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