Tuesday, March 26, 2013

"Making oneself a brother, not a benefactor."

That may be part of the misunderstanding.

"They" say St. Francis dedicated himself to service to the poor...

St. Francis' encounter of service to lepers was “the point that changed his life, not giving up his property.”
Almost.  Nevertheless, he did give up property and embraced a life of voluntary poverty - in imitation of Christ. 

From the Diary of Dorothy Day:
"Last night Pere [Rene Voillaume talked at Holy Souls convent and stressed the need of friendship to the most abandoned.  Making oneself a brother, not a benefactor." - March 11, 1959
A brother, not a benefactor. 


  1. It's about "becoming poor," following Jesus' example.

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  3. I think I missed the point of the post.

    But anyway, I often find it hard engaging with the those on welfare and in shelters etc. as they almost invariably suffer from mental illness.

  4. Joel - pay no attention to what I write on poverty.

    BTW - Dorothy Day noted that too - that the shelters were begining to attract the mentally ill - at the time mental hospitals were closing.

  5. Part of why people shy away from helping the poor directly is that often they are difficult and hard to engage with, whether because of mental illness or because they've been in crisis mode so long. Also cultural differences, etc. People expect to be met with gushing gratitude and often aren't (not aimed at you, Joel, I don't think that was what you were saying).

    Anyone who helps the poor and looks for quick ego gratification will, for the most part, be sadly disappointed.

  6. Very true Susan - thanks!


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