“Giving does not impoverish us in the service of our Maker, neither does withholding enrich us.”
26th May 2016
Virginia Harris, C.S.B.
Memorial Day in the United States commemorates a tradition began almost 150 years ago honoring those who served in the army and died during the Civil War. Since that time, there have been other wars and fallen Americans in military service. The federal holiday is a memorial to all who served and died.
(Tiny flag waves on Becky’s Island, Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire)
It occurred to me that another way to honor these men and women is to honor their living – their selfless willingness to dedicate their lives in the service of their country. These men and women served, protected, defended, and benefited all the citizens of the US – dedicated to a bigger cause than themselves. Commitment to a greater purpose of good is always powerful and effective. Yes, the military men and women living this honorable life are worth commemorating.
Today there are many men and women in all walks of life who will not serve in the military but are quietly and humbly serving and supporting others in the cause of the greater good. They see a human need and must must must step up and offer practical assistance. We may not know who they are but the effect of their good work is felt by those they help and their families. And, like a ripple in a pond, the good they do radiates out to an entire community. This is worthy of acknowledging and honoring too.
Many friends of mine are spiritual healers and their daily prayerful practice has led them to offer practical help to those in need. Guiding their inspiring ideas and active hands is their devotion to Christ Jesus’ command, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” They cannot turn away. One is helping refugees in Germany, another is organizing support for the homeless, several are offering prayerful comfort in hospitals. Then there is the group that tutors adults so that they can earn high school diplomas to get work or go on to college. Oh, there are so many others! – and all expressing the compassion and ministry of unconditional love and overflowing hearts.
The current mental climates of many countries and the world appear in constant turmoil, with violence and threats of war in many places. Acts of kindness and good deeds sometimes seem so small. But right where you are, in the corner of your world, good deeds are needed. It makes a difference to someone and could just be a life-changing experience.
Prepared and poised to help others is inherent to each of us. Isn’t it a sure sign of gratitude for all that one has been given?
Your prayers of selfless love and desire to serve will lead you to just the right actions. Your own actions and compassionate endeavors are a living memorial – and ministry – of your grateful heart.