Monday, November 03, 2008

Building a Culture of Life - Part 5

5. Solidarity

I think there might be a better word for this one, but I can't think of it. Whatever it's called, it has a number of different aspects and has something to do with being witnesses for Life *as* the Body of Christ.

a. Solidarity with other Catholics and pro-Lifers around the world. Did you know that there are terrible persecutions going on in India and that a Catholic University in Spain was bombed last week? The point here isn't to burden you with more evils to pray for, but to remember to not be over-focused on just the problems of our own country. Also, there are many reasons to be grateful for the freedoms we have here in the U.S.

b. Sacrifice and Solidarity. No matter what the election outcome tomorrow may be, we still have a lot of work to do in putting an end to abortion. I'd like to propose an idea for a sacrifice with a financial aspect. I think it would be a wonderful idea for those who are able to give up something as a semi-permanent sacrifice (like cable TV or some sort of food luxury) to offer up for the intention of ending abortion AND use the money saved to assist those in need who may choose abortion. I mentioned pregnancy help centers in a previous post, but there are many fine organizations that could be considered.

Though this is perhaps only obliquely related, I'd like to put a plug in for food pantries. I have a special attachment to these organizations as John and I benefited from their services once upon a time - when Ria was a small toddler, in fact. When we were first married, John still had a few semesters of engineering school left (which he alternated with semesters of working co-op jobs at minimum wage). I worked for almost a year as a teacher (at extremely minimal pay). We were extremely frugal, but really needed a little extra help. We decided to turn to the food pantry which happened to be directly across the street from our apartment (a good thing since we only had one car and it was only open while John was away at work or school). They were a lovely organization willing to help anyone who needed it without a lot of forms or fuss. A few days before Thanksgiving (the year was 1994), they sent us home with complete fixings for a Thanksgiving dinner. A kind man from the pantry carried the box all the way up to my apartment for me since my arms were full carrying Ria. I was completely blown away by this unexpected gift. Perhaps it wasn't exactly *needed* as we had family to spend Thanksgiving with, but I cried tears of gratitude for the lovely generosity of those who were willing to give us a helping hand.

Another area to consider is to donate goods to those in need.
Do good, and evil will not overtake you. Prayer is good when accompanied by fasting, almsgiving, and righteousness. A little with righteousness is better than much with wrongdoing. It is better to give alms than to treasure up gold. For almsgiving delivers from death, and it will purge away every sin. (Tobit 12:7-9)

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