|What's the sculptor saying about J-F here?|
I got a letter thanking me for my donation to the Catholic Relief Services today. This was a paltry contribution, sent in cash -- no more than I have given to panhandlers on Commercial Street. Still, their computer wrote to thank me, and the amount they spent on postage and printing for both the initial solicitation and the follow-up made me wonder whether my donation had cost them more than I had given.
|Sister Michaela and the World Villages for Children|
Not so with Saint J-F. He would send a list of names to a donor, and the text of his letter was not an appeal. To quote:
“Sir, you will provide food for the poor people who names are listed below, and you will give them six sous for their lodging. If you are unable to provide them with food, you will give them a further six sous so that they may buy it themselves.”
Logistically, it is something that would be challenging, even at the Diocesan (or even parish) level. It is also something that might make us a little squeamish, actually knowing the beneficiaries of our charity. Certainly, if I were sending the money to an individual rather than a global fund, I'd be a little more reflective about how much I could afford. Oxfam is one thing; the family down the street is another. I think there may be a New Year's Resolution in there somewhere -- I've still got a couple hours to nail it down.