If you are fortunate enough to still be working during the pandemic, be grateful. And don’t forget that even though Masses have been canceled your parish still needs your financial support. And maybe your neighbor could also use some support.
The parish I belong to (over 3,200 families) has been losing roughly $21,000 per week in donations since Masses were suspended. That’s a sizable chunk of change! How’s your parish doing?
Many white-collar workers are still able to telecommute and telework during these highly uncertain times. If you are one of these fortunate ones, say a prayer of thanks. Then write a check and stick it in the mail to you parish. Or donate electronically to your parish if your parish is set up for EFTs. Even though Masses are suspended, your parish still has numerous financial obligations to meet!
And once you have made your weekly donation to your parish, think about the less fortunate. Say a prayer – or even a rosary – for all those who are not working. And then think about how you might help your neighbor.
Many workers have been ‘furloughed’ in the last week or so. And many other places of business are experiencing a substantial (and in some cases devastating) loss of business. Many small business owners as well as blue-collar and hourly-paid workers are now facing tough times.
Whether or not the federal government will be able to help everyone hurting financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic is anyone’s guess. As Dr. Jeff Mirus, along with a number of others, notes, the economic fallout – the cost of the cure – from the pandemic could be worse than the disease itself.
Subsidiarity, one of the key principals of Catholic Social Teaching, is critical in times like these. Subsidiarity simply means that the person(s) or organization(s) closest to a problem should try to resolve the problem. So if you know that your next door neighbor has lost his or her job due to the pandemic, help him or her out if you can. YOU are the closest one to the problem. The state or federal government is NOT the closest to the problem. Either entity is, in fact, quite removed from the problem.
Mark Shea said it quite well in a series on Catholic Social Teaching at the National Catholic Register a few year ago, “In short, as much as possible, you and I should personally be about the business of loving our neighbors, not waiting around for somebody else to do it while we focus on selfishness.”
Many progressives, wealthy people, and social justice warriors have difficulties with the concept of subsidiarity. The SJWs think the state or federal government should help their less fortunate neighbors. But that is only evading their own personal responsibilities. They are abrogating their personal responsibility to love their neighbor to the government.
The government does not receive graces from God. We do. But when we don’t love our neighbor as ourselves, we aren’t keeping the Commandments. And when we don’t love our neighbor we are cutting ourselves off from all the graces God wants to give us.
Love Your Neighbor
So be sure to donate cash or food to your parish’s food and/or baby pantry. Or donate to your local food bank or the St. Vincent de Paul Society. The need is even greater now during these gloomy times. And if you are so financially well off as to be able to help a neighbor monetarily, do so.
Love your neighbor. And continue to support your parish during the pandemic. The graces you receive for doing so may help you become a better, more holy person.