Each month during the Year of Mercy we will highlight one or two of the Corporal or Spiritual Works of Mercy. We receive so many blessings from the Lord, the outpouring of His mercy and love. We share that mercy and love with others in corporal, or material ways, as well as in spiritual ways. A home is, or should be, many things. More than simply a place to eat and sleep, it should be a place of comfort and rest, a place of security, a place where our lives can grow and be nurtured. It is something we often take for granted. Some in this world, whether refugees forced to flee by violence, or those here in our own neighborhoods, find
themselves without a home, deprived too all that it provides. Jesus invites us to return to them this great blessing, to affirm their dignity and help them to meet the challenges they face. How often do we see tents in parks or under overpasses, or those whose only covering at night is a coat and some blankets as they curl up against a building? When we shelter the homeless, we extend God’s love to others. These are our brothers and sisters—and Jesus Christ invites us to share with them from the mercies that we have received.
A state of emergency was recently declared here in Seattle in response to the homelessness crisis in our city. There are many agencies and organizations which do important work and are a part of the solution—ensuring everyone has a home. The Holy Rosary Women’s Shelter is located on the top floor of the Parish Center and houses 10 women each Saturday and Sunday night. Some volunteers drive the bus to pick them up or drop them off, others bring food, others clean linens, still others stay overnight in one of the bedrooms. Each year parishioners also donate toiletry items as well to keep our bathrooms supplied—think of us during your next hotel stay. CCS and Catholic Housing Services operate over 20 different permanent and temporary housing locations in King County. Countless other organizations do their part as well, whether with housing or food or clothing or whatever it might be. The Matt Talbot Center here in Seattle was founded in 1985 and continues to serve the homeless, those struggling with addiction and mental illness. Be a part of the solution—there are lots of options. Donate your time, or from your other resources, to provide this basic necessity to those in need.
How are you Merciful like the Father?
Born in the middle of the 19th century in Ireland, Ven. Matt’s first job at the age of 12 for a wine merchant opened the door to life as an alcoholic. For 16 years he spent all he had on alcohol, pawning his clothes and boots when all credit had run out, and once even stole a fiddle from a street musician. At the age of 28 he found himself penniless outside of a pub. He had been there before, but this time he decided to turn his life around with the help and grace of God. It wasn't easy, but daily Mass and a life of prayer helped. Always a hard worker on the job, he now put forth that same effort with sobriety. Once spending all he had on alcohol, now he gave from what little he had to the poor and those in need, even searching for that street musician in hopes of paying restitution. He was sober for the last 41 years of his life.