James 2:5 says God has “chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith.” Well, I met several ‘rich’ poor folks in Haiti. They may live in abject poverty, but they exhibit a wealth of faith, generosity, and contentment I’ve rarely glimpsed in our country. Here are some words of wisdom they shared that many American Catholics could take to heart.
- “You have to face misery with courage. Thank God for what he gives you today and be happy with it because you don’t know what he will give you tomorrow. If he gives you a piece of bread today, say thank you and eat it. If he gives you a glass of water say thank you and drink it; because you don’t know if you’ll have either of those tomorrow.”
~Misselaine, 38 – has no idea how she is going to feed her seven children today.
- “You should start each day with this prayer: ‘Oh God, this is what I’ve got going on today. Bless me and show me where to go.’ Then at night say, ‘Thank you for the day and for what you gave me, and thank you for taking me where you took me.’”
~Anne Marie, 61 – lives with two others in a mud-and-stick shack the size of a closet.
- “I would rather not eat than miss Mass. You can go days without eating, but you can’t go one day without God…God has put food in my stomach, clothes on my back, shoes on my feet, and provided me with work. How would I live without him?”
~Ariluse, 70 – depends on Kobonal Haiti Mission for basic food staples such as rice and oil to supplement that which he grows as a sharecropper.
- “It’s not money that makes you rich; it’s the power of God and love in your heart.”
~Sedellia, 63 – lost her house in January’s earthquake and lives with seven other family members in a one-room shelter.
If you found yourself having to lean on God for absolutely everything, including your next meal, would you have faith such as these?
Nola Boea, Sr. Staff Writer