Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Harsh Winter Hits Homeless Hardest

by Elizabeth Schiffman
Feb 24, 2010

WASHINGTON -- Two winters ago, Phillip Tyler had been turned out by his friends and family. He was living on the streets, dependent on drugs and alcohol, and unsure of where he would sleep each night or whether he’d have shelter from the snow and cold.

So when Tyler heard that a record-breaking blizzard was expected to hit Washington, between Feb. 6 and 10, he made sure he was able to get to D.C. Central Kitchen, the community food program that had helped rehabilitate him, so he could help others in the position he so vividly remembers.

"[I] don’t care how deep the snow is," he said. "People have to eat."

With more than two feet of snow crippling the region and much of the Northeast, the federal government, public transit system and most businesses were incapacitated for days. But the lives of more than 6,200 individuals experiencing or at risk of homelessness in D.C. depended on the swift and efficient response of support networks, in spite of the setbacks that accompanied the storm...More

Who is my neighbor? "On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Read the answer of the Lord... [It's a cold world without Jesus and the Eucharist]

--->Homelessness in the Cities: Economic Crisis Aftermatch. According to UN estimates, more than 100 million people are homeless. Dr. Wally N'Dow, Secretary General of Habitat II said that the majority of Homeless are woman and dependent children. However, in Buenos Aires, the Interparroquial mutual aid service, states, that the new homeless profile has changed since the 1990s. They say that today 80 percent of the homeless are men, and only 20% are women...Continue

Because They Are His: Realigning The Works of Mercy to the Explicit Love of God

Alas, in recent decades there has crept into some forms of Catholic activism the false dichotomy and notion---based on State models of "social work"--- which seek to eliminate the Name of Jesus--- that if one is to serve the poor one should do it not in the explicit Name of Jesus, but in the name of "human dignity," as if we could ever separate these. But human dignity is grounded upon the Love of the Creator and is, we are taught, only fulfilled in Christ Jesus. Activism (a far better name is Charity, meaning God's Love) can never be a substitute for the Gospel and Church, but are only ever the fruit of these.

More than ever, the saints teach us, we can seek out the lonely, the hurting, the forsaken and shut-ins (often in our own families), gospel and cross in heart, as Christ sought all of us out in the forgiveness of sin. And we to do it in His Name, because the poor are His, sharing His witness and calling these suffering ones to the Wedding Feast of the Lamb; We can in many ways "go out into the highways and byways" of the world, wherever we are, seeking out the poor in spirit or in fact in His Name, giving them food, time, money-alms, transportation, tracts, rosaries, whatever we can, of whatever they need, and especially to call and welcome them to Mass and salvation, lest we feed but half man's hunger. For a Christian to hide the cross and gospel is to become a mere State social worker, and to work for the empire, and glorification of Self...

Catholics must help lead in this blessed work, restoring here also, the oldest tradition, the imitation of and response to Christ...Continue

St. Benedict Joseph Labre

Beggar of Perpetual Adoration, One of Very Many Homeless Saints and advocates of the poor...Given to religious ecstacies when contemplating the crown of thorns; reputed to float, soar, and bilocate when in these swoons (when hearts were pure God's signs were seen). He begged in the streets, and if he was given more than he needed for the day, he would give the remainder to some one he considered more in need than he was. Benedict healed some of his fellow homeless, and was reported to have multiplied bread for them. Noted counselor to people of all walks in Rome. He died in a hospice, exhausted from his life of austerity. His biography, written by his confessor Marconi, describes 136 miraculous cures attributed to him within three months of his death.

Born 25 March 1748 at Amettes, Boulogne, France Died 17 April 1783 at Rome, Italy Beatified 20 May 1860 by Pope Pius IX Canonized 8 December 1881 by Pope Leo XIII. He is named Patron of those with mental illness, of bachelors, beggars, hoboes, homeless people, people rejected by religious orders, pilgrims, tramps, the unmarried more here

Few of us have the brains to be theologians and to puzzle around abstruse matters. But we can have the heart to do a lot of "little" things in life.

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