A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Modelling Love for Our Neighbours

Posted on: November 21, 2013

By charity, we love God above all things and our neighbour as ourselves for love of God. Charity, the form of all the virtues, ‘binds everything together in perfect harmony’ (Col 3:14).

– s. 1844 of the Catechism

This morning, the wonderful aroma of banana muffins filled my kitchen. I whipped up a couple of batches for a bake sale at my son’s school to raise funds for Typhoon Haiyan relief.

As well as supporting fundraising efforts by purchasing treats at the bake sale, students could earn admission to a Friday afternoon movie in the gym by donating to the cause. And one teacher promised to grow out his hair if donations reached a certain level, while another vowed to match donations up to a set amount.

Sure, all this is good for school spirit, which suffered during last year’s contract negotiations. But above all, it’s a good example of what the Spirit can do.

We’re approaching the Christmas shopping season, and the reminders are everywhere: flyers featuring seasonal items and “perfect” gifts, holiday songs on the radio and holiday movies on TV, Christmas decorations gradually appearing in stores. Even young people past the age of belief in Santa might begin thinking about their wish lists now.

And yet students and teachers took time out to put together this week’s activities to benefit others. If I could judge by the groaning bake sale tables (and apparently there were more on the second floor of the school), the school community strongly supported their efforts with their time, treasure and talents.

As much as I struggle with the 24/7 news world, I’m thrilled to see this kind of involvement and caring by the young people our society so often describes as uncaring or indifferent, and I’m thankful for the way the staff are modelling how to love our neighbours as ourselves—even if these neighbours are half a world away—and living out the truth expressed in s. 1917 of the Catechism:

It is incumbent on those who exercise authority to strengthen the values that inspire the confidence of the members of the group and encourage them to put themselves at the service of others. . . . ‘One is entitled to think that the future of humanity is in the hands of those who are capable of providing the generations to come with reasons for life and optimism.’

I pray that we would encourage our children and youth as they try to serve others and that we would thank those who model for them how to serve.

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Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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