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Monday, March 8, 2010

Prayer: Alberto Hurtado, S.J.

I have something to say to you. How can we go on with this? I didn't sleep last night and I think you would have suffered from insomnia as well had you seen what I saw. I was arriving at St. Ignatius late last night when a man stopped me. He was standing there in shirtsleeves in the freezing drizzle. He was think as a rail and shaking with fever. The lamplight was sufficient to show me that his tonsils were inflamed. He had no place to sleep and he asked me for the price of a bed in a hostel. There are hundreds of men lik this in Santiago and they are all our brother, and that is no metaphor. Each one of these men is Christ, and what have we done for them? What has the Catholic Church in Chile done for these sons of hers who walk the streets in the rain and sleep in doorways in the cold nights of winter, their bodies found frozen in the early dawn. This sort of things is happening in a Christian country. Tonight a beggar may die in the doorway of any one of your houses. What stupid oxen we Catholics are, how lost in our dreaming, how untouched by the need for social solidarity! We are held back by the possibility of difficulties, obstacles, and scandals.

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