The Good Shepherd Ministries in downtown Toronto is just one of the places that do the righteous work looking out for those in need. Photo by Michael Swan

Charles Lewis: Spare a moment for the voiceless

  • December 1, 2021

I’ve had the luxury of having a voice over the past 40 years. It’s a privilege to have had my words read. I hope at times those words have moved readers and perhaps moved them enough to act or at least think more deeply about the important issues of our times.

When it comes to life issues, I pray that some may have changed their minds for the better on euthanasia and abortion.

In my last column I wrote, again, about my struggles with chronic pain and cancer. It felt good to be able to express myself about the things that trouble me. To be honest, it’s therapeutic to put my angst on the page.

There was another benefit: the column generated letters from friends that I could be assured of their prayers, Masses and brotherly and sisterly support.

One such letter came from a young priest I had taken some courses with at St. Augustine’s Seminary before he was ordained. He generously assured me of his prayers.

Here was part of what I wrote back to him:

“I hope many will understand that I’m not just writing about me. I have a voice and many don’t. I also have the luxury of having enough money to live easily. A great wife to take care of me when needed and friends to rally around me. I also have so many in the Church who care. I can’t imagine what it would be like without all that.”

When I was a child, I often watched movies or TV shows in which some member of a well-to-do family was gravely ill. It was usually the mother because mothers are the strong ones. It always drove me crazy when the people portrayed could get all the care that money could buy (I grew up in the States where good health care was there for those who could pay) and everyone in the home — from the lovable children to the handsome husband to the all-too cute dog and the impertinent but lovable maid — was too good to be true.

It was dying through the eyes of Disney.

I don’t have a maid and I’m not rich and my lovable cats can be irritating, but I have it pretty good. I have no worries of the material kind. All I have to worry about is trying to get better.

So, when those I know say they will pray for me I also hope they spare a moment for the voiceless … those who suffer in obscurity, whose worries are monumentally backbreaking.

There are also concrete things we can do such as donate to those groups who reach out to the people most of society ignores. Such groups as the great Catholic charity ShareLife and other charitable groups such as Good Shepherd Ministries and the Salvation Army. There is no shortage of places that do this righteous work and need money to keep at it.

There is also lots of volunteer work to do — from hospitals, old-age homes and food banks. The list is exhaustive.

So many of us have time on our hands so giving up a few hours a week to help our brothers and sisters should not be onerous. Besides, helping others feel good. You are doing what Jesus suggested in Matthew 25. Look it up.

Finally, something I’ve harped on before and will continue to be a nuisance about. In 2017 our Liberal overlords promised $6 billion to improve care of the dying. From what I’ve been able to glean, only a few million has been spent … on studies. This is beyond pathetic.

Write, phone or otherwise pester your MPs to put this money to work. It’s needed now. Even Justin Trudeau said during the 2019 election that Canadians deserve a choice between MAiD and humane care. Maybe he wasn’t being sincere. Who knows?

If you don’t believe me, listen to St. James: “What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food and one of you says to them, ‘Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,’ but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

(Lewis is a Toronto writer and regular contributor to The Register.)

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