Monday, January 19, 2009

Solidarity & our daily bread

"Give us this day our daily bread..." we pray in the Our Father. And God provides...through the work of countless people we will never know.

I was reminded of this truth this evening as I read the Fall/Winter 2008 issue of Sacred Ground, the magazine of Christian Foundation for Children and Aging (CFCA). I've written about CFCA and my sponsorship of a young Filipino named Manuelito before, and I continue to encourage anyone interested in sponsoring a poor child (or aging person) to consider CFCA because it is a stellar organization founded on Catholic principles.

For example, solidarity is part of the CFCA mission statement because it is an essential part of Catholic social teaching. I think this story, shared in the article "Solidarity: A Walk of Love," illustrates solidarity well:

"Every morning when CFCA sponsor and board chairman Scott Wasserman gets dressed, he checks his shirt label to see where his garment was made. He then spends a moment thinking of the person who made it, most likely a woman.

'I pray for her and her family while I hold the shirt she made for me,' Wasserman said. 'The entire spiritual exercise takes only a few moments. But done consistently every day over the years, it leads to solidarity with the poor, and that leads to action such as sponsorship with CFCA.'"
As I pondered this idea my gaze fell to my dinner plate. Because David was at church training altar servers for the Latin Mass, I was reading Sacred Ground while enjoying the London broil he'd made in the crock pot, along with some sweet potato casserole. In times past I have tried to bring to mind and pray for many of the people involved in getting us the food we eat - to not take them and the hard work they do (or my dependence upon it) for granted. For example, I should thank the Lord for...
  • The rancher that raised the cow
  • The butcher that prepared the cut of meat
  • The packager who wrapped it up
  • The truck driver who transported it to my grocery store
  • The farmer who cultivated and harvested those sweet potatoes
  • The stocker who laid them out in the store
  • The cashier who rang up my purchases (and all those coupons)
  • The creative minds behind the development, packaging, and advertising of all the other ingredients we used in our meal
  • The cooks who created the recipes we used (I really like MoneySavingMom's sweet potato casserole, with marshmallows for topping)
  • The web gurus who keep sites like going so we can quickly find out how to make London broil (this was our first time)
I could go on, because the contributions don't end there. People all over the place had a hand in my meal. These are my brothers and sisters, doing their daily work, and I hope they know that someone appreciates their good service!

I pray that the Lord will help me to be even more mindful of how much I need others, far and near, to live as I am blessed to live. I am grateful for God's Providence - and for the role He allows me to play in providing for others.

I can only imagine how this insight will deepen when Teresa comes and I *get* to take care of her, with others' help. Already we have been so blessed by the generosity of friends and family - and those unknown people who donate used clothing and baby supplies to thrift stores. Deo gratias!


Shannon said...

thank you for this post... you know I just began sponsoring a young girl! this was wonderful to read, Frances.
praying for you in these last days of your pregnancy!

Katherine T. Lauer said...

What beautiful sentiment. Thanks for sharing. I'm going to investigate CFSA because I've long been wanting to sponsor a child, but I wanted it to be a good organization, Christian, preferably Catholic, that puts most of its money into the child, not into overhead.