Volunteer: "To be or not to be? Who, Me?"
Burning Question of the Week
By Paul Dion, STL
Welcome to the United States, the volunteer capital of the world. Statistics tell us that there are more volunteers per capita in this country than in any other country in the world. Volunteerism is a dynamic part of our culture. It seems that each and every one of us volunteers for something.
As you read this, you are perhaps saying, "I don't."
Really now? Are you sure? Before you go to bed tonight, examine your conscience and I am willing to say without fear, that somewhere in your life there is a cause for which you dedicate some of your precious personal time.Would you like a little help with your examination of conscience concerning this matter?
Sure you do. Here goes:
Are you the favorite baby sitter in your family/extended family? Are you the one who has the knack of caring for the sick, young and old, so you get called a lot? Are you the one who is always cleaning the house along with the housewife after parties? Are you the designated driver of the old person down the street when it is time to do the weekly shopping? Are you the one poll worker who is always there at every election? Are you the one who still has three space heaters stored in the garage waiting for your friends to claim them back? Are you getting exasperated with these silly questions? Say, "yes."
I haven't mentioned the real professional volunteer yet, but I don't think I have to because we all know one or more of those. You, dear reader are perhaps one of them.
I will only take a passing swing at some of the things that volunteers do in this sweet homeland of ours: Blood bank workers, catechists, church cleaners, Red Cross workers, readers for the blind, tutors for children with special needs, Girl Scout troup leaders and Boy Scouts too, church community leaders of all stripes and colors...I don't have to continue.
It is generally conceded that volunteering is a good thing. It falls well into the call of God through St. Matthew, chapter 25, to "feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the prisoners..." etc.
The burning question is; "Is it more noble to volunteer for the benefit of secular communities, like hospitals, city halls and such. Or is it better to volunteer for Church work, like teaching catechism, reading the Scripture at Mass, carrying communion to the sick, etc.?"
What do you think? Share your comments with the rest of the world.
Peace and joy.
Paul Dion, STL
ParishWorld Theology Editor