||[Jul. 22nd, 2014|10:00 am]
As posted on Facebook:
As many of you may be aware of by now, there is an ongoing humanitarian crisis at the Southern border that predominantly involves children. This issue lies very close to my heart. As I may have intimated before, I can hardly look at pictures or videos of refugee children anymore without my heart breaking for what my own children have, and what these do not-- the security of a loving home, food, clothes, a time to play and to rest.
I could only look on and pray during the tragedy in Syria. I managed what little help I could muster in addition during the natural disasters that displaced millions in the Philippines. I can only look on and pray for the tragedies today in Palestine and in Mosul. But this border crisis is literally happening right now within the nation of which I am a citizen. It hits very close to home, so to speak.
I want to do something. And to inform action, I wanted to know what my own church's response to the issue was, to start with. Certainly, I could be in no doubt as to the spiritual disposition necessary to meet this crisis, and I was very happy to read this article that introduced me to the site Aleteia.org:
I was however, thoroughly shocked at what I proceeded to read in the comments. I'm sure I don't need to describe it in full here; you can probably imagine it easily enough. The atmosphere manifested in its ugliest in the the people who picketed the bus routes carrying these refugees to various destinations within the US. I could scarcely believe I was reading these things as put down by fellow Catholics.
Certainly, as regards the virtue of prudence and good stewardship, there is plenty of wiggle room when it comes to certain discussions such as border security and immigration. There is no Church doctrine concerning such paltry and recent things as national state lines and who may or may not cross it, and nor should there be. The Church's purview is the salvation of souls, and that is what I see pouring across the border and into this land: fifty-seven thousand souls seeking help and salvation. What will they see when they come here?
I recognize the very real need for laws and proper enforcement. I see the very real need for security and order, especially in these doubtful times. But I see much more clearly that well beyond these human needs, there is now an opportunity to address the needs of the Divine. In less mystical terms, you do not quibble about rules and regulations when your neighbour's house is on fire. I will not deign to acknowledge those who wonder whether the house is on fire at all. I have plenty of rebuttals to those who object to simple charity on whatever grounds they may stand on-- fortunately for me, I do not have to go into any of it. I offer it up, keep my peace, and move on.
That is because I am reading that despite whatever reticence and insular instincts being aired where I could see them, the reality in play at the moment is much more comforting: people of good will are helping however they can. It remains to me to seek out what me and my family can do past stuffing an envelope and delegating it once again, but at least I have my consolation. God's hand is not too short to save.