Sunday, September 12, 2010
Monday, May 25, 2009
How much is Enough?:
Hungering for God in an Affluent Culture
I ran across this book by accident but the title immediately caught my attention. (So, I looked it up on Amazon and found it used for 70 cents, less than a candy bar.) It is not a how to book; there are no pages that outline exactly how much is enough. For anyone who seeks to follow Jesus, Simon, reminds the reader of Jesus’ words without softening them. He deals with the realities of our world- consumption, materialism, and poverty- in a non-judgmental way. He attempts to answer the question, "Why in the face of unprecedented affluence, do so many people feel discontent?" Simon highlights the fact that Christians have a moral obligation to help those who are needy and challenges us to live that call:
“Hunger is a scandal because it is a moral outrage and a violation of human dignity…It is not hunger in itself that is offensive, but the fact that people needlessly go hungry and they do so in part because of the indifference of believers.”
Simon lays out his own struggles with living the Christian life and gives examples of otherwise unknown people who have given out of their need, rather than their surplus. When his teenage son confesses he wants to be a stockbroker and a millionaire by age thirty, Simon tells him, “I would be deeply hurt to have failed so badly (as a parent).”
This is an honest and challenging book that mandates an examination of one’s life as a Christian. If you are serious about living as a disciple of Christ and you desire to live more simply, then this book is a must read. If you take it to heart you will never be the same.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
My Neighborhood- Silvia Sanchez
Many people have called it the ghetto: graffiti on building walls, dark nights, the sound of loud music and police sirens every now and then. Although many people judge my neighborhood by how it looks, I know the people that live in it are some of the nicest and hard working people of them all.
The neighborhood where I live is not ordinary with big houses, expensive cars, and a high-class look. In my neighborhood there is a diversity of houses. Some people have very nice houses with a garage door, while others may live in a house that is under construction due to lack of money, or in a small mobile house. Most of my neighborhood is poor. There are families of up to seven or eight people living in a two bed room house with no air conditioning or no privacy. Many people depend on public services and public transportation because they do not have their own vehicle. Many of the kids who live in the community give up there dreams after they graduate from high school because they give up going to college in order to help their parents with their high payments. Public authorities do not take into consideration community needs, such as proper street lighting or fixing our bumpy roads. This has an affect on the community by leading it to become and unsafe place to live in. Overall, the community has overcome many barriers despite all of the disadvantages that it has had.
One important thing I can say is that I am proud of the people that live in my community. Never in my life have I met people who have such wonderful qualities, enthusiasm, and big hearts. Most of the families work up to three shifts just to have the minimal resources like water, electricity and food. Many parents try to hide their feelings so that their kids do not get worried when they don’t have enough money. It is nice to see families when they do not have money to go out and spend because what matters is that they are together. Some people always complain about hard work but are no where near knowing what these families have gone through. These families may not have any money but they have big hearts. They are amiable and generous when it comes to helping others. They may not give you money but they give you so much more that money cannot replace. Another great quality about the people is that they are very well organized. Every time something is wrong with the community they do everything in their hands to solve the problem. They come up with long sweaty marches and loud protest to catch people’s attention. And most of the time they get what they want. I believe that the people are the key to making the community better, without them this community would not be what it is today.
This neighborhood has been judged and discriminated for a very long time, but I am hoping that it will change very soon. Over the years (17) I have learned not to judge a book by its cover and I think living here has made me a bigger person on the inside. I have been living in this community for over ten years and I am not ashamed to call it my neighborhood.
Silvia lives in Cameron Park a colonia in Brownsville, TX. Cameron Park is the poorest colonia of its size in the United States. Silvia is a Senior in High School and will go to college next year. She hopes to become a pediatrician and help poor children. Photo: Silvia and her best friend Karina who also lives in Cameron Park
Friday, December 19, 2008
Just about a month ago we took a ride up the
Shortly after my trip to the wall I read Fr.Greg’s letter to the Vincentian Family, which focused on “And there was no room for them in the inn.” The letter was a reminder that as a Daughter of Charity I am called to be close to those who society has no room for the lost, the lonely, and outcast because the Christ child is born in them.
These two images- not having room and a wall- have struck me this holiday season. What would have happened if Mary and Joseph would have encountered a wall on their way to
I have ask myself, what are the walls that I build up and who do I keep out?
This last week of Advent is about taking down walls and making room…making room for those who seem belong to no one but God. Let us welcome them....
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
in ministry around the world to a song from U2,"What do you see?"
The photos used are mostly from the web site of Fillesde la Charite, the International web site of the Daughters of Charity. Some are also from other D.C. web pages. I took a bit of artistic license...so many thanks to those who took these great photographs of the sisters at work!