Friday, May 5, 2017

Well Said: The sorrows of the world versus the importance of local charity

It is one of the evils of rapid diffusion of news that the sorrows of all the world come to us every morning. I think each village was meant to feel pity for its own sick and poor whom it can help and I doubt if it is the duty of any private person to fix his mind on ills wh. he cannot help. (This may even become an escape from the works of charity we really can do to those we know).

A great many people (not you) do now seem to think that the mere state of being worried is in itself meritorious. I don't think it is. We must, if it so happens, give our lives for others: but even while we're doing it, I think we're meant to enjoy Our Lord and, in Him, our friends, our food, our sleep, our jokes, and the birds' song and the frosty sunrise.
C.S. Lewis; letter to Dom Bede Griffiths, OSB; Dec. 20, 1946
The immediacy of global bad news, the idea that being worried about something is action enough, the lack of charity shown locally — don't these sound all too familiar in our Facebook, Twitter, etc. lives? Living locally is trendy for food. I like the idea of applying it as Lewis discusses above. After all, it is when face-to-face with suffering and distress that we get a idea of what it really means.

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