Blessings at Camillus Go Both Ways
The forthcoming Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s always gets me thinking of the crucial role that Camillus House plays in our community. It’s true that “need knows no season,” but even as we continue our work in 2017, the special blessings of our work over the coming holidays ever-present with me.
This year we will serve a hearty Thanksgiving dinner to more than 500 persons. Meanwhile, each night, more than 1,100 persons in need are being blessed with three meals a day, access to showers and a bathroom, a place to sleep, and the compassionate care of the Brothers, our volunteers and staff.
Blessed to Serve
The challenges before us are great, but every day, I’m grateful for the opportunity to work in this special ministry. Every day, I am blessed with multiple chances to lift up my brothers and sisters in need. Every day, I’m fortunate to meet wonderful people like you who support our work with their time, talent, financial support and prayers.
With your help, Camillus House does more than minister to the physical needs of those who are poor and vulnerable in South Florida. We also provide a human connection for the forgotten, the abandoned and many who feel that their lives don’t matter.
In God’s Care
But sometimes, as I pray for those we serve, I wonder who feeds whom on Thanksgiving Day or Christmas – or any day – at Camillus House? Our benefactors, volunteers and staff nourish and fortify the bodies of our guests. But at the same time you and I and all who serve those in need receive so many small graces in return for our efforts.
St. Francis of Assisi knew of what he spoke when he said, “It is in giving that we receive.” As we serve others, we’re reminded that we, too, are fragile. We all have moments of weakness. We all depend on a loving and merciful God. We’d be lost without Him. But that’s the beauty of our work at Camillus. In serving the least among us, we stay close to Him.
Every day we see Him, as Blessed Mother Teresa once said, in “the distressing disguise of the poor.” What a gift, what a revelation. May God bless you all throughout the coming holidays. May He preserve your kind and generous heart. May He bless our work together.
Brother Raphael Mieszala, O.H., has served at Camillus House for more than 20 years.