Monday, September 7, 2009

That the Imperfect Do Good...

The people who volunteer at Mother Marianne's West Side Kitchen would be the first to say they're far from perfect.

Yet they're compelled to feed the hungry... with compassion and cheer.

Fr. Paul English, CSB, a visiting missionary who preached at St. Joseph-St. Patrick Parish a week ago, spoke about this penchant for doing good. He acknowledged the ministries in the parish, including the soup kitchen, and went on to say:

"When we do good things, God is walking with us." That's in spite of the fact that "we are an imperfect vessel." It's as if God were saying, "I chose you to do good in the world."

Father English, who was a missionary in Mexico, says he came away far more blessed by the experience: He discovered that when different people come together, everyone grows.

"People want to do good, but sometimes don't know how...Our mission is to help them find their own dignity first."

Dorothy Day had a similar notion -- to accept everyone coming to her Catholic Worker soup kitchen without reservation... with no preconceptions. To recognize, instead, the dignity of each person, made in the image of God.

And Father English adds a twist:

"That the imperfect do good, that's the power of God."