“When God desires a work to be wholly from His hand, He reduces all to impotence and nothingness, and then He acts.”
–Jacques-Benigne Bossuet from Jean-Baptiste Chautard’s Soul of the Apostolate p.105
I serve as a Catholic missionary befriending the homeless with an organization called Christ in the City in Denver, Colorado. I walk in the neighborhood around Denver’s Capital building with two missionaries daily, and we have the beautiful privilege of befriending men and women whom I call my Friends on the Street. We spend our days sitting on the sidewalk ‘wasting time,’ building trust and deepening relationships. Some days it is really easy to see Christ in the poor, and other days it seems next to impossible. Yet in the Lord’s fidelity, no matter if it seems easy or hard to love the person in front of me, He reminds me that it is always about His love, not my human limitations.
Every Monday night, the missionaries pray the Liturgy of the Hours in our chapel, and I hear the words that continually pierce my heart: “O Lord my God, unwearied is your love for us” (Christian Prayer, p.1041). They are particularly striking, because I wish that I could be unwearied in loving my community members, Friends on the Street, or even myself. Yet, He loves each of us more than I ever could. On Monday nights, when I am particularly discouraged, this antiphon reminds me that none of my missionary work is about me. It’s about loving others and letting them love me. My Friends on the Street and I have spent many hours laughing, crying, telling stories, and supporting each other when we are discouraged. I am nothing if I act alone, but by His grace, I can share some of His unwavering love with each person I encounter.
By: Madeleine M. Veith