A small group of Residents at our home have found a way of giving and sharing that has brought them the greatest peace and satisfaction. This “Dedicated Outreach” enables them to continue to give and serve in their sunset years through the acceptance and offering of their sufferings. They meet bi-monthly to reflect, pray and offer to God the suffering that is part of their lives.
After a Scripture reading and reflections, their thoughts and prayers reach out to our suffering world. They then recite together their prayer of dedication. In this offering of their own personal suffering, which is recalled in silence, they unite with all those who suffer in our home, those who suffer in various parts of the world, from Afghanistan to Africa and finally they unite all, with the sufferings of Christ.
They know in faith that God can use their gift of prayer and suffering for the Church and the world. For them suffering has taken on a meaning which has changed their lives. All of them will tell you “We do not go all out to look for pain and suffering which is always an evil. But if and when it comes our way, we try to make it something positive.”
Here are some of the reflections made by members of the group:
“This has made me more award of the ‘down’ moments in my life which I think I never really accepted. Now because of our Dedicated Outreach, I’m beginning to see they are hidden blessings.” – Claire Crawford
“In this group we admit we have one thing in common, some form of suffering in our lives. But this is not something just to evoke each other’s sympathy; rather it is something personal which we own and offer to God for others.” – Joyce Baitz