Dan Burke is an award-winning author, writer, and speaker on Catholic spirituality. He has written and/or edited nine books on faithful Catholic spirituality and is the Executive Director and writer for EWTN’s National Catholic Register. Dan is the president of the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, and the creator of Divine Intimacy Radio and SpiritualDirection.com.
The tastes of modernity have never tolerated the needy. They are too dirty, too inconvenient, too ... different. So, we hide them away.
A number of years ago, I had the privilege of leading a team that launched the Orphan Care initiative at Focus on the Family (icareaboutorphans.org). During that experience, I asked a number of people what they thought about the orphan-care challenge in America. Surprisingly, the most common response was, “We don’t have orphans here.” Well, the painful fact is, we do have orphans here — tens of thousands of them. It’s just that they are hidden behind the walls of government bureaucracy.
This is a tragic illustration of what happens when we allow government agencies to attempt to mitigate social challenges that are best handled by the Church. In this case, orphans were taken out of public view and the care of Christian organizations, and they were hidden away in the secular, government-controlled foster care system.
I do recognize the good of foster care and applaud the many courageous people within the system who faithfully attempt to rescue children from their dire circumstances. Unfortunately, however, where the Church is removed entirely from the equation, the face of the abandoned are often removed from those best equipped to care for their physical and spiritual needs. The result? The need “disappears.”
But as we know, the need never really disappears. In fact, orphans around the world are starving for the bread of life — and the Bread of Life.
The good news is that there are organizations working to reverse the hiding away of the unseemly by reuniting those in need with the hearts of those who have the means to help. Catholic Relief Services is one of those organizations.
This year, as we enter into the time when we dig deep to give more of our hearts and material goods to the work of God, Catholic Relief Services is a great place to engage with those in greatest need. My challenge to you is to click on this link and share this information with as many people as you can via Facebook and your email network. Then, get involved with your time and your wallet — and give until it hurts.