POINTLESS POINTS TO PONDER NOT
There are times when I have observed lay persons manifest more concern for the health or well-being of a fellow religious than was shown by his brothers in the community. I have even been amazed at the charitable attention given to ailing confreres by the hired help in a religious house compared to the seeming indifference of other confreres. Does this indicate an absence of Christian love on the part of fellow religious?
It is not that charity does not prevail within the walls of our religious houses. But what I see is that our zeal is too often turned outward toward other people who need our help without at the same time turned inward toward our own religious brothers. Is it not that charity should begin at home?
There rings in my memory a word used by Gabriel Marcel—availability, the state of being unoccupied for the sake of others. Availability is the key word. We must show ourselves to be free to attend to the presence of our brothers with whom we live our daily lives.
I just wonder why at times our troubled confrere doesn’t reveal his problem to others. Is it because he does not think his confreres could help? Is it even because he did not trust that his confreres would help? Or is it that he does not discern in others openness to the disclosure of his pain, a disposition to listen to what he wished to say, an interest in what was at the moment the greatest concern of himself?
It is possible for two persons sitting beside one another to be there like two blocks of stone, mute and impervious to what goes on inside each. Think of two airline passengers sitting together in the waiting room, each absorbed in his own concerns, completely oblivious of one another.