How can we help?


#1

I have been wondering a lot these days as to what I see in many people’s eyes.
So much suffering…pain…hoplessness…bitterness… and a resignation to it all.
So little hope…joy…love…and yet these people, despite all of their misery are still forging ahead, not giving into the despair, trying to hold onto the tiniest fragments of hope they can find in that sea of misery and clinging to them. They seem to have caught a glimpse of something but are not quite sure how to put it into focus to fully grasp and understand it. They seem to be searching for something they do not even know what they are searching for.

What is it they are searching for?
What is it they are longing for?

How can we help them find it?

And will we be able to help them find it before they loose all fragments of hope and fall into that sea of eternal despair?


#2

St Louis de Montfort said that the reason the love of Jesus isn't as well known as He ought to be is because Mary isn't known. If we look around at our society today, especially in the disembodied versions of the faith promoted by the majority of Protestant churches, and at the philosophy of radical doubt of the secular order, it is not just the purity of an objective Love of God that is missing but the incarnate Love of the Son of Mary.

How do we make that love known? How do we make Mary known? One way is through the work of the Legion of Mary. I have been a Legionary since just a few months after my conversion, and have found great graces in Legion work.

In the Legion of Mary, we meet every week, pray the Rosary together, have a time for spiritual reading and spiritual direction, and are given a substantial apostolic work to do in the coming week. We always work in pairs, as Christ sent His apostles, and the work ranges from working in a local homeless shelter, knocking on doors around the parish, running a book stall outside the library, during Christmas and Easter we set up a crib or resurrection scene in a public place and use that as an opportunity to reach out to people, there are other works that can be done, including visiting schools, hospitals, retirement homes, organising public talks on the faith, and anything else that is in the spirit of Mary serving Christ in the Church. The work usually lasts about 2 hours each week, and then we come back together to share a story of what happened, and to encourage eachother. I've seen the huge difference the Legion can make to a parish.

There are also Auxiliary members of the Legion, who commit to pray the Rosary, Magnificat and Legion prayer for Our Lady's intentions each day. The work of our auxiliaries is even more important than the active Legion work.

One thing which unites all the work of the Legion is the promotion of the Miraculous Medal, which was revealed by Our Lady to St Catherine Laboure, and which bestows great graces to those who wear it and pray the prayer "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee." I have seen the way this simple little tin medal can change the whole nature of a conversation about the faith, bringing joy, acceptance, curiosity, understanding.

If this sounds like the kind of difference you want to make, you might want to find a Legion of Mary group (known as a praesidium) in your area.

You may, of course, be called to some other apostolate in the Church, such as the charitable work of the St Vincent de Paul Society, the apostolate of Opus Dei in sanctifying work, the work of a Salesian co-operator with young people, the contemplative life of a Carmelite Tertiary or Benedictine Oblate, but it sounds to me like what you want to do is to tell the world about the hope you have because of our faith. I can't think of many better ways to tell the world than through the Legion of Mary.


#3

Thank you DL82,

I think where I am coming from is I have such a longing to hold and comfort these souls. To share with them the Love God has shown me. I want to help them focus on those tiny fragments of hope that they do have. So that those fragments grow inside of them so that that hope will one day wipe away all of their hopelessness… bitterness…despare… and share with them a Love that is so Great…

I sense that in their suffering we suffer too… why is that?


#4

It sounds like you have the same desire as Our Lady, to comfort those souls, to help them to bring Christ our light to birth in their own lives. It’s amazing the difference you can sometimes make, visiting people’s homes, not arguing over points of theology but simply being there to listen while people tell you about their own search for God or just being there with the lonely.

We are all interconnected, we are called to rejoice with those rejoicing, mourn with those who mourn. God bless you for your deep care and prayer for souls.


#5

Dear DL82,

If you only knew how far I am from having the same desire as Our Lady has you would not say it is the same. But I do use her as a role model and example to try and bring Christ to all I meet so maybe, through her intersession and God’s grace, something is rubbing off.

Do you have any suggestions as to how one can help in society to help people who do just need someone to listen to them, reasure them, and help them when I can?


#6

When we look at the numerous problems around us, it is easy to feel discouraged and helpless. But I always believe in “little ways”. While we may not be able to help everyone, we can always help someone. If we focus more on others and less on ourselves, if we consciously pay attention to people around us and see their needs, if we show kindness to everyone we contact with and help in whatever way we can, that is a good start.

A smile, a pat on the back, a kind and comforting word, a listening ear, an expression of empathy and sympathy, a helping hand, a prayer… All these seem to be small; yet no matter how dim the light is, it breaks the darkness.

We can also take more concrete steps - donate what we can to charity, to church; do volunteer works in our community and in the church.

Above all, we need to work hard toward holiness. When I see problems of the world, often times my first thought is “we need saints, and I need to work harder toward holiness”.


#7

But you DO have the exact same desire as Our Lady does! Her whole desire is to lead all souls to her Son. Since that seems to be your desire as well, I would suggest an even deeper devotion to her. She has been given much grace and power, and she will always use it for the glory of her Son!

Ad Jesum per Mariam!


#8

Dear Inlight247,

I strive to live by what you say here 24/7. I wonder about what I have bolded and underlined. Could you offer me any suggestions as to how I can go about joining a program in my community that would be condusive to a mother of three. One being a two year old. I do not want to take away from my responsibilities as a mother but would like to help more than I am.

God bless,


#9

[quote="wxboss, post:7, topic:181259"]
But you DO have the exact same desire as Our Lady does! Her whole desire is to lead all souls to her Son. Since that seems to be your desire as well, I would suggest an even deeper devotion to her. She has been given much grace and power, and she will always use it for the glory of her Son!

Ad Jesum per Mariam!

[/quote]

I know Our Lady has the same desire to bring all souls to her Son. My desire is still a "work in progress" her desire is perfect. This is what I mean when I say it is not the same as hers. Maybe I just do not use good grammar to make my points clear enough.

God bless you and thank you for the enchoragement...


#10

Just a suggestion, have you tried your local parish? there many ways to get involved...even with young ones to look after. Life long faith at your local parish may have some suggestions.


#11

God bless you as well! You desire to be perfect, yet you feel you are falling short. Welcome to the club! :slight_smile: Why do you think Jesus gave you His Mother and the saints, to help perfect us. After all, the saints offer help along the way also ;).

You are not in this alone…please do not try and go it alone. All of Heaven is behind you, you really should accept all the help they offer. It will be much easier. :wink:


#12

Hi wxboss,

This is why I ask them to help me and guide me and use them as role models. But I want to do my part as well. I can not expect them to live my life for me can I?
So, I am just looking for a way I might be able to help Heaven more. I did not realize that in wanting to help Heaven more I was refusing Heaven’s help. Will have to reflect on this.:confused:


#13

Dear Ralph,

If I understand what you are referring to by Life long faith I am very blessed to be in a parish that is very caring and already has many active members taking very good care of these needs.
But, will try talking to one of the priests there. Maybe there is something in the works I am not aware of yet.

Thank you for your suggestion,


#14

It is hard to do community services when you have little ones to take care of.
I have worked on local soup kitchen with both of my children for many years - with my daughter when she was in high school and with my son started from his middle school all the way through his graduation from high school. Both of my children are big on community service up till today. But when your children are as young as two years old, it is hard.

You can always get involved with your parish if time allows. Since you asked how we could help, I was just mentioning some concrete things we may possibly do.

Keep up your good work of prayers and evangelization. They are important. God bless!


#15

This is what I want to do with my children. May I ask what the age your son was when you started. I have talked about doing this with my husband but he recommended that I wait until our eldest is a little older. She is not in middle school yet. But it seems like it might be the age we are looking at. I really want to foster that caring nature they already have. I do appreciate your thoughts and advice… sometimes I just get this incredible itch to help others… I thought I would ask to see if maybe I had overlooked a way that I could start doing more. I guess I will just have to wait patiently for the right time and place. So if you hear of anything or come up with a whole new idea please let me know.

Thank you for your advice,
Please keep me in your prayers and God bless you too…


#16

I think it is a good idea as your husband suggested. If you wait for a few years, your oldest one will be more mature and your youngest one will also be older. I think my son started to work in soup kitchen when he was either eleven or twelve.

There are always opportunities to train our children to be caring. I remember when my son was in elementary school, his teacher noticed another student in class had no friend. She asked me if my son could invite that child to our house to play. So we did. They became good friends from then on. I believe this experience taught my son how to notice other’s need and be kind. There are other things young kids can do. For example, instead of giving a birthday party and receiving gifts, they can do a food drive with the birthday party, asking each guest bring something to donate to the local food pantry or Crisis Control. In Christmas season, if your church has the program of buying gifts for the needy, you can bring your children to shop so they will catch the idea. Whenever you see a car accident on the road, ask your children to pray with you for the people involved in the accident…
You may have already been doing these. What I am trying to say is before you can involve your children in any kind of community service, there are many other things to train their characters. Hope this may help.

Actually I did pray for you earlier. :slight_smile:


#17

It does and thank you for the prayers:)


#18

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