Friday, February 01, 2008
It’s almost Lent! What’s the best way to help the poor? Get Rich!
I read in an old book yesterday that, “The poor do not need charity: they need inspiration. Charity only sends them a loaf of bread to keep them alive in their wretchedness, or gives them an entertainment to make them forget for an hour or two: but inspiration will cause them to rise out of their misery. If you want to help the poor, demonstrate to them that they can become rich: prove it by getting rich yourself.” Wallace Delois Wattles. The Science of Getting Rich. 1910.
But Rich has gotten a bad reputation. The author goes on to explain when one is truly rich spiritually and actually they have the opportunity to do great good for this world.
And so, is it the poor who are lacking God or is it the rich? And is it because the Rich are lacking God, we have the poor? What a dilemma!
The truth is we all need God and without Him there will be no peace for the rich or the poor. And we all need food and shelter!
So for Lent what should you do?
1. Make a resolution that you will try to pray always. Say small prayers all day long during Lent. Lift your mind and heart to God all through the day. You’ll need to make some reminders for yourself. St. Frances DeSales’ desk was outside a church that chimed its bells every 15 minutes. He got into the habit of making a spiritual communion every time he heard the chimes. Think of some way you can pray often. Should you fail, it’s ok, just start again. There is no rush you have 40 days!
At the Religious Teachers Filippini Women Promotion Center in Adigrat, Ethiopia (pictured above) we are trying to inspire young girls to one day be rich! In a good sense! Many of these girls are orphans or single mothers who are trying to avoid a life of prostitution. We train them in many marketable skills so they may become very successful, but also to have faith in themselves, realize God’s abundance abounds and gratitude toward the Good God who made them. Religion is rarely a problem for the poor people that I encounter. They love God and want honor Him and to do His Will.
This center is unique to Adigrat as it is the only Pizza Gelato Café in the city! The ovens were built by a man who came from Italy who wanted to do something for the poor using his talents! And good benefactors have provided the industrial gelato machine and a vehicle to transport the supplies needed. Recently we had our first graduation ceremony of 21 girls. Fifteen have found work and the remaining five are being helped to secure positions. These girls are going to make it in this world!
Because it is a training center many poor people iin the town are able for the very first time in their lives taste delicious pizza and have a cool gelato!
Perhaps from this information you too will be inspired to use your special talents to help those in need.
So have a good Lent, pray for the poor and make sacrifices for them!
Write and let me know how your Lent goes!
God bless you.
If you would like to learn more about these girls and the orphans from AIDS go to
or listen to this interview