I read once that when Blessed Teresa first began her service in India she wanted to sleep on the streets with the people she served. Her spiritual advisor pointed out that it in order to care for these “poorest of the poor” she needed to care for her own basic needs: spiritual, corporeal, social, and psychological. She ministered to the sick, poor, and dying for 45 years. She received multiple awards including the 1979 Peace Prize, the proceeds of which she asked to have donated to the poor of India. (Quoted in Wikipedia) “Mother Teresa stated that earthly rewards were important only if they helped her help the world's needy. When Mother Teresa received the Nobel Peace Prize, she was asked, "What can we do to promote world peace?" She answered "Go home and love your family." In her Nobel Lecture, she said: "Around the world, not only in the poor countries, but I found the poverty of the West so much more difficult to remove. When I pick up a person from the street, hungry, I give him a plate of rice, a piece of bread, I have satisfied. I have removed that hunger. But a person that is shut out, that feels unwanted, unloved, terrified, the person that has been thrown out from society—that poverty is so hurtable [sic] and so much, and I find that very difficult." She also singled out abortion as 'the greatest destroyer of peace in the world'.”
What do you think? There are no totally right answers.
Should missionaries go overseas to provide food, clothing, shelter, medical care etc. when there are people who lack adequate levels of those essentials in the United States? How do you define adequate?
Should the government be able to redistribute wealth? In the Acts of the Apostles, reference is made to having “everything in common.” Is it different if people voluntarily share what they have with others?
When companies move jobs overseas, those new jobs which replace them often pay at a lower level. This causes a decreased standard of living for those former workers. Those newly hired overseas make much less money, but can care for their families with the money they earn.
What do you think of women who choose a life of service like Blessed Teresa and her sisters.
Read about another modern day saint who helped very sick people: Father Damien who cared for lepers in the second half of the 19th century.