While viewing EWTN’s Neighbour to Neighbour programme, I listened to the narrator tell the story of Susan and Steve. Steve was about to graduate from college, but it was about that time his sister Susan, who was terminally ill, worsened.
Steve’s dream was for his sister to see him graduate so he approached the school’s superintendent with his plight. The gentleman facilitated Steve by taking the graduation to the home where Susan was. She died five days later. Etched in Steve’s memory however, was the image of his sister’s smiling face at his graduation ceremony.
The question was then posed by the narrator, “Who is my neighbour?” In this case, the superintendent and Steve both fit the role since they both put the needs of another before their own, wanting only to assist in bringing joy and happiness into the life of another.
The narrator then advised, seek out the persons in your parish, the Church, the community, even among your family who have various needs with which you can assist. A visit, a phone call, or just take someone for a walk or a drive, small things which we take for granted but which could mean the world to those to whom we will be reaching out.
This programme was followed by the Telecare programme with Fr Cedric whose discourse was on passion, purpose and enthusiasm which, to me, was an extension of the previous Neighbour to Neighbour.
Fr Cedric shared his story. He wanted to be rich and successful, making lots of money, so he pursued a business course in college. He was doing very well, with top grades. Soon, he found that it was not enough; he yearned for something more but did not know what. He started to flunk out in school, and lost his passion.
He began to pray about the situation, seeking God’s guidance and returned to his Catholic upbringing. He felt God was pointing him in the direction of assisting people.
He changed his major in college and was successful in outreach. He saw a billboard which advocated, “Expand Your Influence”. He felt it was God’s message to him so he became a priest and began to preach and write books, motivating readers to allow God’s will (what God calls you to do) to be done in their lives.
Fr Cedric gave the following advice: “You must have purpose in your life. Purpose equals passion. This motivates you to do your best. This motivation allows you to purpose your goals with passion and enthusiasm. Enthusiasm means ‘in God’ and in God is found the grace from the Holy Spirit to fuel (purpose) the passion to pursue and achieve goals.
Create a personal Mission Statement which will help you to act selflessly while doing God’s will – your purpose. To accomplish the Mission Statement, you must have a Method Statement: how to proceed. This includes strategies you would employ to achieve your goals.
Be pro-active. Use your skills, talents and abilities. Read Ephesians 2:10, which outlines God’s will for us re service to others.”
And so, I connected again the two programmes, recognising that if we really have the desire to be of service to our neighbours (all with whom we interact), we need to have a purpose, a goal and allow our passion to do God’s will to motivate us. Let us then look around, see where we are needed in whatever small way, and do our best as we do for others.