Letter from the Rectory June 2018
With all the troubles in the world, the challenges facing us in Britain and the inevitable issues within our own families and friends, it can be hard to know where to begin to try and help; indeed, with our busy lives, the temptation can be to do nothing.
In 1982 I was privileged to spend a few days volunteering for Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in their House for the Dying in Calcutta. I recently came across a piece of her wisdom on this subject.
‘I never look at the masses as my responsibility. I look only at the individual. I can love only one person at a time. I can feed only one person at a time. Just one, one, one.
As Jesus said, “Whatever you do to the least of my brethren, you do it to me.” So, you begin…I began. I picked up one person…. The whole work is only a drop in the ocean.
But if we don’t put the drop in, the ocean would be one drop less. Same thing for you. Same thing in your family. Same thing in the church where you go. Just begin. One. One. One.
At the end of our lives we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, or how many great things we have done. We will be judged by, “I was hungry, and you gave me to eat.
I was naked, and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in.” Hungry not only for bread, but for love. Naked not only for clothing, but naked of human dignity and respect. Homeless not only for want of bricks,
but homeless because of rejection.’
The Church in the first three centuries adopted many of these radical attitudes. The result had such a profound effect on the world that the Emperor Constantine declared Christianity to be the official religion
of the Roman Empire, more through political expediency than from personal conviction.
In an age of impersonal contact and virtual relationships developed on small screens, time spent one-to-one with others is ever more important.