Now I Begin,
Now I Begin,
Blessed the one concerned for the poor:
on a day of misfortune, the Lord delivers him.
The Lord keeps and preserves him,
makes him blessed in the land,
and does not betray him to his enemies.
Sick, sick, sick. Everywhere, everyone is sick. My own house seems to be engulfuled in a fog of general illness. Coughing, sneezing, fever, and sore throats make the rounds between my family and I. Of course I cuddle, and coddle, cook soup, administer meds, and offer up prayers for my loved ones. I soothe as they suffer. This is easy, because I love these people.
What about the suffering stranger? We all know the story of The Good Samaritan, but have you heard of St Moling, an Irish Saint who is said to have encountered a leper on the road.
Moling & The Leper
One day whilst coming from the wood, Moling encountered a leper who begged to be taken to his church, however, he could not travel unless he was comfortable. Moling offered to carry the leper upon his back, but seeing the monks raiment the leper feared that it may rub off his skin, so Moling removed it and he climbed on the monks back so their skin was touching. The leper then needed his nose blowing and asked Moling to assist. The monk offered the leper his hand to blow into, but the leper feared that his fingers would damage his nose, so he asked Moling to put his nose in his mouth and suck the mucus out, which he did.
Gross right? St Moling made himself uncomfortable to offer comfort. Poor is not just lack of money or physical illness. Poor is to be without God, to be poor of spirit. To be without God includes ignoring those who need Him the most. When you turn from the beggar in the street, scoot away from the coughing person sitting next to you, fume over the woman paying with food stamps to feed her children; you are not denying just them, you are denying God. In the story of St Moling, the leper was God in disguise. St Moling did not fail our Lord. Will you?