Posts Tagged ‘poverty’

How to reach the poor

October 18, 2010 Leave a comment

According to Mother Teresa, to reach the poor, the inner life must drive the activity of the exterior life.

To be united to Him completely, we need be poor—free from all—here comes the poverty of the Cross—Absolute Poverty—and to be able to see God in the poor. Angelic Chastity—and to be able to be always at His disposal.—Cheerful Obedience.

The “interior must become the main power of the exterior.”

For if they are not in love with God—they will not be able to lead this life of continual immolation for souls.

I insisted on obedience, cheerful, prompt, simple and blind. I assured her that she could never make a mistake if she obeyed.


Understanding the heart of Mother Teresa

October 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Why did Mother Teresa want to reach out to the poor of Calcutta. She articulates her  vision and passion here:

We shall be “bringing happiness into these unhappy homes. Amongst the very poor—what suffering the mothers undergo—on account of their children—on account of their husbands.—My Sisters will care for their children—will nurse the sick, the old, & the dying in their homes.—They will teach the young wives how to make their homes happy. There are many places where the priest even can not get at—but a Missionary of Charity will by her work enter every hole—wherever there is human life, wherever there is a soul for Jesus.”

How many die without God—just because there was nobody to say one word about His Mercy.—The sufferings of their body make them forget the terrible sufferings their souls will have for all Eternity.

Here, she is trying to explain to her superiors why she should be allowed to start her new ministry.

I know you are afraid for me. You are afraid that the whole thing will be a failure.—What about it? Is it not worth going through every possible suffering just for one single soul? Did not Our Lord do the same: What a failure was His Cross on Calvary—and all for me, a sinner.

What if the good God wants my name? I am His and His only.—The rest has no hold on me. I can do without all the rest if I have Him. Fear not for me—nor for those who will join me—He will look after us all. He will be with us.

He will do all. I, I am only a little instrument in His hands, and because I am just nothing, He wants to use me.

Mother Teresa speaks about her own self-love and feelings of inadequacy.

By nature I am sensitive, love beautiful and nice things, comfort and all the comfort can give—to be loved and love.

The complete poverty, the Indian life, the life of the poorest will mean a hard toil against my great self love.

I feel sometimes afraid, for I have nothing, no brains, no learning, no qualities required for such a work, and yet I tell Him that my heart is free from everything and so it belongs completely to Him, and Him alone. He can use me just as it will please Him best. To please Him only is the joy I seek.

All of the above quotes are from Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light by Mother Teresa and Brian Kolodiejchuk.


Living on the street

March 25, 2010 Leave a comment

Follow Barry Rodriguez as he lives on the streets in NY for four days.  Here is his last post but it has links to the first four.


A Filipino painting of the last supper

January 4, 2010 Leave a comment

If you have not seen this, hope you enjoy it.

Prosperity Gospel

November 19, 2009 Leave a comment

Usually movements arise to meet something that is lacking.  The Kruse Kronicle suggests that the prosperity gospel may have arisen because of the failure of evangelicalism to provide “instruction that guides me in my daily economic life.”

What to do about those who beg

November 3, 2009 Leave a comment

old woman begginkids sleeping on cardboardPeople are in need all around us. This is an issue for all of us, not just those of us who live in Asia.  I can still see the homeless people living under the bridges in Houston.  If I am honest, I sometimes avoid those places in which I may encounter those most in need, encounter those begging.  My lack of compassion is troubling.  Two very challenging posts from John Piper on “Giving to the one who begs from you,” out of Matthew 5:42 do not make me feel any better.

cup of coins and handPiper discusses reasons why we would not want to give to beggars: maybe they are being dishonest, use drugs or involved in other sinful behavior; we may not be sure if there is a real need; will we create dependency?

He tests my heart with such radical love. And in my heart I see my selfish, unloving impulses that do not want to part with my money, possessions, time, or convenience for needy or evil people.

Piper points out that He asks us to do this not because of what good may happen in the lives of the people we help but simply because we are sons of our Father in heaven (Mtt 5:45). As Piper says, we show that we are God’s children by “the stunning—some would call foolish—way we show generous kindness toward undeserving evil people—the very kindness we’ve received.”

I am afraid that I too often fail miserably in this call to “radical, gospel generosity.”  Pray for me that I might give freely just as I have freely received. Picture below is from buhaypinoykids begging

Living in the presence of one another

October 30, 2009 2 comments

santiAs Typhoon Santi is soon to make landfall in the Philippines coast on this all-saints weekend, our staff have headed home early to beat the weather and traffic.   The ferries (to Mindoro) have stopped running as of this 6 a.m. morning due to a signal two (out of four) being in effect although there were no winds yet blowing.   Pray for our team members previously affected by Typhoon Ondoy back a month ago–before most of us never thought too much about typhoons coming but now, we are paying attention.  Hopefully, there will not be a re-traumatizing of many in the city on this weekend when the cemeteries are full of people grieving and remembering their loved ones.  Here is a little about the day of the dead and a video link as well if you are interested

A friend pointed me to the following reflection by Dr. Melba Maggay on her experience during Ondoy.  Following is an excerpt from which I picked the title of this post.  Ate Melba speaks with a prophetic voice to the issues of our day and when she speaks or writes, I listen.  I think you will enjoy (and perhaps squirm a little?) as you read her full comments.

“I asked God what all this means for me. So far, the one thing clear is that I am being asked to share in the ‘fellowship of his suffering’, in that great mystery of solidarity where the sorrow and degradation of one human being is the sorrow and degradation of all. Whether we are aware of it or not, we live in the presence of one another. The presence of the vast poor among us says as much about the rest of us as the kind of government we live under.

In a small way, I now know what it must be like for those who are swept to the margins, forced to live precariously in cities with no thought nor place for them, squatting dangerously along esteros, river banks and other waterways. Comfortable people tend to see them as obstructions, clogging our life systems. The truth is that it is a horrendous scandal that so many have nowhere else to go.”