Home > Uncategorized > why is it necessary?

why is it necessary?

It’s a fair question.  “I mean, Mike, there are hundreds and thousands of needs around us, right here.  I don’t have to get on a plane and fly abroad to find ministry.”

I totally agree!  BUT, if you’ve never gone to a foreign land for a missions endeavor or spiritual pilgrimage…


Notice that I didn’t use the words: thrill, excitement or stimulation.  I’m not talking about a zip-line adventure in the Amazon.  Yeah, your 3-day all-inclusive in Cancun doesn’t count either.   There is nothing wrong with any of that, but that’s not what I’m referring to here.

I’m talking about mud huts, sewage in the streets, trash heaps that are home to hundreds, homes where unwanted babies live, children selling their bodies for pocket change, more beggars than you can count, and the emptiness in eyes that are absolutely without natural or spiritual hope.  It will chill you to the bone.  Yeah, you need to see it, smell it, cry over it… maybe even be a little undone about it.

You’ll find out some things about yourself.   But, probably not what you’d expect.

I’ve been going at it a really long time.  I have “some” experience.  I personally think it would do you a world of good.

I love the story you’re about to read.  A good story helps grow your appetite and gets the juices flowing.  This is why I believe it is necessary for you to go… at least once.

If you need direction, motivation or insight… let’s have a conversation.  I have some thoughts.


*   *    *    *    *

Blessed Mother TeresaAmericans come at life expecting everything to work.  It always has.  I was born with silver spoons in my mouth.  I had a strong family and was loved from the beginning.  My parents paved a path for me.  Do you realize what a head start that is?  It’s wonderful.

But there’s a dark side:  People from privileged backgrounds expect that path always to be paved; they expect everything to work out.  When it doesn’t, they’re not only disappointed, they feel wronged.  They think, How dare reality not work out for me!  Why should I have to suffer?  How dare the air conditioner not work!

That explains the morose, quasi-depressed state of so many affluent countries and peoples.  When you go to poor countries, these peoples who don’t have anything and for whom everything is going wrong from morning until night (and if you’ve been there you know I’m not making this up) tend to be much happier than we are!

And our tendency is to look and say that they shouldn’t be happy, they have no reason to be happy.  They don’t seem to have an agenda.

I remember visiting the Home for the Destitute and Dying in Jamaica.  People lay in rags, with the smell and the lack of food and the sores.  I thought, How could anybody live this way?

From my world, it was like hell.

And yet I came as a priest to talk and pray with people.  I’d stop and say, “Well, how are you?”  They’d say, “Oh, fine.”  And I’d want to say, “Fine?  You’re not doing fine.  You’re doing terribly!  How can you say you’re doing fine?”

Can I do anything for you?”  I’d ask.

One woman replied, “Oh, just recite a psalm with me, Father, just recite a psalm.”  And here the big Scripture man couldn’t think of a psalm.

This humble lady picked out my obvious embarrassment.  Here I am, the great priest, coming to help her, and I can’t even remember a psalm by heart.  She sees it on my face and starts singing Psalms 23.

Just join in with me, Father.  You just come along.

There is a profound message here for our affluent culture.  I knew I had met “the first in the Kingdom of God.”

Richard Rohr O. F. M. from Letting Go:  A Spirituality of Subtraction

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. March 15, 2013 at 7:30 am

    This blog and subsequent story reassure me that I am on the right path

    Sent from my iPhone

    • March 15, 2013 at 7:36 am

      Agreed. Love you Zack! We’re all proud of you! xo

  2. Michael
    March 15, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    This is our life! We – my wife and I – would not change it for the world. Sometimes it gets really rotten-tough, and at other times it feels as if God HAS got favorites, and we are definitely them!
    We live, we love, we give, we receive, we cry, we laugh, we sleep, we stay awake …. all because … ” …. God so loved the world, that He gave – His only Son – just for ME …”

    • March 15, 2013 at 8:00 pm

      Yes Michael… just for you.

      Cheers Mate!

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