A surprise visit from my dear daughter, Caitlin, has necessitated a bit of a “blog fast.” Who has time for the computer when a beloved daughter visits from another state?!

The visit was much too short, though Christmas is just around the corner and we will see her then.

During her brief stay, we paid a visit to our priest at the rectory. As Caitlin and Father were talking, I was privileged to overhear another unrelated conversation that I would like to share (no deep dark secrets, I promise!):

The door bell rang, quite loudly, and a parish volunteer (a dear friend and incredible woman) quickly answered the door. Though I could see neither my friend nor the visitor (a homeless man), the conversation was completely audible.

“Yes, may I help you?”

(a kind voice, full of respect, humility and good cheer): “Yes mam, someone on the street mentioned that you might have candles here…I sure could use one, if you have any left.”

(in the sweetest, most charitable tone imaginable): “Oh, yes, indeed! Let me get you one…is there anything else you need?”

“They mentioned you might have a blanket…it sure is cold tonight, and with the sleet and all, it would sure help me to stay dry.”

“I’ll be right back with a candle and a blanket! (brief exit) Here you go…is there anything else I can help you with?”

“Oh, mam…you have no idea how much this helps! God bless you for this…it makes all the difference!”

“God bless you, sir…keep warm!”

“I will now…”

Such little things…an old blanket and a partially used candle. And yet they make all the difference.

Father has been providing used blankets and candles to the homeless for quite sometime. A little light and a little warmth…barriers against the cold, dark nights experienced by the homeless poor.

A few moments after the gentleman (and he was a gentleman) left, another volunteer answered the door for a young woman in search of a sandwich.

The same charity offered with such dignity and kindness. The same good cheer and grateful reception by the hungry young woman who may or may not have had a place to lay her head…

How often we hear the words: “I wish I were rich…oh how much I could help the poor!” Such noble sentiments…but wealth is not necessary! Old blankets, candles, sandwiches…used gloves, mittens, hats and scarves! The cold months are so hard.

Well…off to the garage. I have a few old blankets and candles to get together. I’ve meant to do it so many times. Those sweet voices are ringing in my ears:

“Oh, mam…you have no idea how much this helps! God bless you for this…it makes all the difference!”