UP Catholic 03 10 2017 E Edition Page 4

4 March 10, 2017 THE U.P. CATHOLIC COMMENTARY www.upcatholic.org GENERAL ELECTRIC APPLIANCES KIRKISH FURNITURE "Largest stock in the U.P." Restonic Bedding Televisions - RCA - Hitachi - Toshiba Floor Covering Free Delivery in the U.P. 1-800-535-0258 1200 W. MEMORIAL HOUGHTON, MICHIGAN See our electronics department for more specials. Including Massage Therapy A few days ago I met a very little girl who made a big impression on me. Grace and her older brother Benedict suffer from a rare genetic disorder that has resulted in serious hearing impairment and limited physical growth. The two come to our home for the elderly each week with their mother to pray the rosary with our residents. Watching Grace and Benedict interact with the elderly, I was amazed by their maturity and graciousness. I almost felt that I was in the presence of an- gels - such was the radiance of these two beautiful little ones in the midst of our frail seniors. In all likelihood, Grace and Benedict will never make an impact on the world scene, and yet I be- lieve that they, and so many other little, hidden souls, make a huge difference in our world spiritually. This is what our Holy Father is sug- gesting by his Lenten mes- sage this year. The theme he has proposed for our 2017 journey through Lent is "The Word is a Gift. Other persons are a gift." Using the parable of Lazarus and the rich man from St. Luke's Gospel, Pope Francis turns our attention to those whom we might usually ignore. He compares the anonym- ity of the rich man, who is never named in scripture, with Lazarus, who appears with a specific name and a unique story. Lazarus "becomes a face, and as such, a gift, a price- less treasure, a human being whom God loves and cares for, despite his concrete con- dition as an outcast." The Holy Father continues, "Lazarus teach- es us that other persons are a gift. A right relationship with people consists in grateful- ly recognizing their value." Lent, he says, is a favorable season for recognizing the face of Christ in God's little ones. "Each of us meets people like this every day," says the pope. "Each life that we encounter is a gift deserv- ing acceptance, respect and love. The word of God helps us to open our eyes to welcome and love life, especially when it is weak and vulnerable." This is what our foundress Saint Jeanne Jugan did so beautifully. Mindful of Christ's promise that whatever we do to the least of his brothers and sisters we do to him, she opened her heart and her home definitively to the needy elderly of her day. She often counseled the young Little Sisters, "Never forget that the poor are Our Lord When you will be near the poor give yourself whole- heartedly, for it is Jesus himself whom you care for in them." Saint Jeanne looked upon each elderly person with the loving gaze of Christ and so she saw each one as a treasure worthy of reverence and loving care. She knew that despite outward appearances, each person to whom she offered hospitality was someone for whom Christ died and rose again; each one was someone worthy of the gift of her own life. Pope Francis' prayer this Lent is that the Holy Spirit will lead us "on a true journey of conversion, so that we can rediscover the gift of God's word, be purified of the sin that blinds us, and serve Christ present in our brothers and sisters in need." Let us pray for one another, he concluded, "so that by shar- ing in the victory of Christ, we may open our doors to the weak and the poor. Then we will be able to share to the full the joy of Easter." I thank God for my recent encounter with Grace and Benedict, for they opened my eyes anew to the beauty in each human person. My wish for you this Lent is that God lead might you to a similar life-changing encoun- ter. Sister Constance Veit is the director of communications for the Little Sisters of the Poor. Other persons are a gift GUEST COLUMN Sister Constance Veit POPE FRANCIS' PRAYER THIS LENT IS THAT THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL LEAD US "ON A TRUE JOURNEY OF CONVERSION, SO THAT WE CAN REDISCOVER THE GIFT OF GOD'S WORD, BE PURIFIED OF THE SIN THAT BLINDS US, AND SERVE CHRIST PRESENT IN OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN NEED." Prayer of Abandonment Father, I abandon myself into your hands; do with me what you will. Whatever you may do, I thank you: I am ready for all, I accept all. Let only your will be done in me, and in all your creatures - I wish no more than this, O Lord. Into your hands I commend my soul: I offer it to you with all the love of my heart, for I love you, Lord, and so need to give myself, to surrender myself into your hands without reserve, and with boundless confidence, for you are my Father. By Charles de Foucauld Read more: http://www.ewtn.com/Devotionals/prayers/

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