The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

Quote of the day

A reader (and deacon candidate) found the following quote over at Happy Catholic, and thought it appropriate for our discussion about deacons and the poor:

Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

— Howard Thurman
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posted January 20, 2009 at 3:31 pm

Ask what makes YOU come alive? Now even the diaconate is all about ME? Strikes me that we have plenty of people who shop around for a “spirituality” that will make them feel all bubbly inside, but we have far too few who are willing to step outside their comfort zones to do the often-hard tasks of service to the poor that Jesus said would be the basis on which our lives will be judged.

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posted January 20, 2009 at 8:15 pm

I think the understanding of what it means to help the “poor and the marginalized” is important to this conversation, moreso than what makes an individual “come alive”.It’s funny that we think of the materially poor as The Poor. Yet Jesus said it was the Rich who had less chance to get through the gates of heaven than a camel passing through a needle’s eye. If we are to store our treasure in heaven – and the Rich do not have much in store – who then is truly poor in God’s eyes? How many of the Rich or Middle Class who sit comfortably in their Ethan Allen arm chair or their Ikea sofa watching TV or scouring the Internet are in utter poverty in the ways of God because they have killed their sons and daughters, or refuse to have them at all, not for grave medical reasons, but for selfish reasons? How many have one or two, but ignore them, farm them out to others and wonder why their children are strangers? How many have everything they could desire and hunger for Someone they do not know? Who has the courage to reach out to them and tell them that they must give in order to receive? To die to self so they can live like they have never lived before? So many maintain jealosy over their gain, so many ignore their spiritual poverty, so many of these will go a whole lifetime without ever knowing the love of God for them and the emptiness they have can be filled to overflowing by Jesus Christ.My dear deacons, God gave you all a multitude of gifts and talents that can be used to reach *all of God’s poor*, and help them learn how to be rich in the Holy Spirit. They do not have to be in line for a soup kitchen or waiting for room in a shelter to be in great poverty. What is necessary is that you constantly do as every Christian ought; look at your motives and look at what you are doing. Always remember the temptation to be doing something for the sake of being admired and praised and avoid it.And be very, very careful of judging eachother.

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