Jesus tends to people individually … We all receive Jesus’ touch.  We experience His care.

Max Lacado

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I recently received a short discourse on Catholic social teaching from a priest I know.  It highlighted the tasks that Catholics are encouraged to engage in living their faith.

Each task was a good one for sure, but the list gave me pause.  You see it reminded me that we are not fulfilled in the tasks per se but rather in the experience of Christ in these tasks and in daily living.

I share this because we are, as human beings, functional for the most part. We do “things;” yet, we are spiritual beings.

For the doing of a thing to be of its most value we must experience Christ in the doing; yes, in the everyday and all the things of the everyday.

It is not the gathering of the sheep that is of value, but the experience of gathering the sheep and the experience of the value of each sheep – lost or found.

It struck me, in looking at the list of tasks in this review of Catholic social teaching, that many of these tasks are done by secular institutions and by our secular government which claims to do these things at the same time it pushes God out of the public square.

Likewise, I recalled instantly how the government fails to provide care to our Vets, how it lost millions of dollars in the Indian Trust Fund it was to manage, and how it imposes its views on the Little Sisters of the Poor.

Doing seemingly good things requires the heart’s engagement to be filling and actually be good in the highest, most satisfying, purest and best sense.  Function alone does not suffice.

Good works are to reach us on the inside – nourish our heart and soul, grow the doer and the one helped.

The dignity of all and the welfare of a culture is advanced when faith is present in the good deed.  When it is absent our likelihood of a failed transaction is virtually assured.

Not much good happens without God being consciously present in the doing.  This is true of good deeds in particular.

Shalom.

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