Being a convert to Catholicism I have learned a lot over the past 14 years and even more these past few months of owning Discount Catholic Products. However, one of the things that I’ve always understood is the importance that the Pope has in the Catholic Faith. He is not just the leader of the one billion plus Catholics, but is seen as one of the moral leaders of the world.
While I took an interest in the election of Pope Benedict XVI, I was even more intrigued a year ago when he made the decision to step down from the Papacy – the first to do so on his own willingness since Pope Celestine V in 1294. I was interested because I had grown in my faith and in my advocacy for the poor. I teach part time at a school where approximately half of my students qualify for free or reduced lunches. I routinely have to teach students who quite possibly on a Monday have not had a hot meal since Friday’s lunch. Doing everything we can to try and eliminate what former Senator George McGovern called a plague and that “ending it is a greater moral imperative now than ever before, because for the first time humanity has the instruments at hand to defeat this cruel enemy at a very reasonable cost. We have the ability to provide food for all within the next three decades” is something that we all need to focus on.
St. Augustine stated, “Find out how much God has given you and from it take what you need; the remainder is needed by others.”
This is one of the main reasons why we are so excited about this past year of Pope Francis’s Papacy. His legacy has already been to focus on poverty and trying to alleviate it as much as we can. On Jan. 31st, Pope Francis released his statement regarding his Lenten message: “He became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich”
Let us all celebrate this first year with Pope Francis by following his lead and focusing on doing what we can to help the poor. At Discount Catholic Products, 5% of all sales will go to two different charities that are trying to do just that: Catholic Charities USA and the St. Luke Foundation for Haiti. These two charities are quite amazing and we are proud to support them. Do what you can with what you can. Some of you may be struggling yourselves and can’t give today to a charity. If you can, volunteer at your local food bank or some place like The Banquet in Sioux Falls, which serves hot meals to people in need.
Let us all strive to make the world a better place. Thank you for reading and have a blessed day!