Little Pockets of Hope

November is a time of reflection and gratitude.
I am most thankful for all of you who do the daily work of service to others; in this sometimes dysfunctional and interesting world we live in; and for those who continue to give of their personal treasure, helping to shine a light in dark places.
You are the “Little Pockets of Hope” that I refer to whenever I have the opportunity to speak with others about how we all help “One Family at a Time”, and the little miracles that pop up when a need is met, as we attempt to do the work we were sent to do.
It reminds me of one from long ago, a simple soul who worked quietly, in his community, helping those in need throughout his life, in spite of many obstacles placed in his path, St. Martin de Porres.
At the age of 15, Martin started out as a servant boy for the Dominicans in charge of the priory. He endured a great deal verbal abuse and prejudice. Martin spent long hours working in the kitchen, laundry and infirmary caring for those around him. Martin was not a man of means or position. He begged for alms daily to help feed those who were poorer than he was. Martin was a humble monk attempting to walk in the footsteps of Christ.
“When an epidemic struck Lima, there were in this single Convent of the Rosary sixty friars who were sick, many of them novices in a distant and locked section of the convent, separated from the professed. Martin is said to have passed through the locked doors to care for them, a phenomenon which was reported in the residence more than once. The professed, too, saw him suddenly beside them without the doors having been opened.”
Martin had an influence on everyone he met, even those of the rodent population. A group of mice were infesting the clothing of the infirmed in the monastery.
One day, Martin caught one of the mice. He told the mouse, “Little brothers, why are you and your companions doing so much harm to the things belonging to the sick? Look; I shall not kill you, but you are to assemble all your friends and lead them to the far end of the garden. Every day, I will bring you food if you leave the wardrobe alone. Martin led a Pied Piper-like mouse parade toward a small new den. Both the mice and Martin kept their word, and the closet infestation was solved for good.”
Through his perseverance and tenacity, Martin became a Dominican brother and was known as a miracle worker and saint, long before his passing, creating “Little Pockets of Hope”, as he continued to serve his spiritual community and those outside the priory walls, in need of assistance regardless of one’s station or circumstances in life.

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