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Archive for January, 2012


A couple of weeks ago, my favorite artist Bruce Springsteen, aka “The Boss,” released a song that previews his new album coming out in March. The title of the new song is “We Take Care of Our Own.” In the song Springsteen asks:

” Where the eyes, the eyes with the will to see
Where the hearts, that run over with mercy
Where’s the love that has not forsaken me
Where’s the work that set my hands, my soul free
Where’s the spirit that’ll reign, reign over me
Where’s the promise, from sea to shining sea
Where’s the promise, from sea to shining sea”

Listening to these lyrics in the song made me think about my ministry with the poor and the questions that those whom I serve might be asking on a regular basis. Personally, I never had to ask those questions growing up because I lived in a comfortable household with everything I needed. And lots of Americans in the past never encountered such issues and hopefully they never do in their lives. Expect now, as the economic crisis has shown that poverty is becoming more than norm and the promise of the American Dream is dying.

For those who do not know, January is Poverty Awareness month and the March for Life occurred this week.  Normally such  things would not have mattered  as much to me, but this January I paused to really think about poverty. Earlier this past week I watched with my community a documentary titled, “The Human Experience.” In this documentary young 20 somethings from New York traveled all over the world to see the most impoverished and outcasts. Ranging from the homeless in NYC to the lepers of Africa this movie showed me how much of the majority of the world lives in poverty versus the minority who live in prosperity.

Thirdly this weekend I had the opportunity to help one of my community members, whose job is working with refugees, move and take much needed furniture to their apartments. These refugees were from Nepal. Working with them that day I witnessed first hand how much we shared in common as fellow people. They were trying to establish themselves in  like immigrants have always done in America. Striking to me was their admiration for Gandhi who as they said, lived simply but acted high.” How similar to was this message to that of St. Francis of Assisi?!

So therefore I leave this blog with the call for people to be watchful for the poor and to always remember them in our daily lives.Its amazing how much your mind opens and you see what is really important as I have noticed over the past few months. Many times it can be very painful and you want to ignore it. Yet there remains plenty of hope, joy, and love in the midst of pain. You never can joy and pain unless you see them together embodied in the poor. Even as Bruce Springsteen laments in his song he still has hope and rightful proclaims: “We take care of our own wherever this flag is flown.” I will continue to do the same in my ministry for the remainder of my time in FrancisCorps and hopefully all of my life! Will you?

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