By now you’ve probably seen the signs in people’s yards and along city streets that say things like — Don’t give up — you’re not alone — you matter — you are worthy of love, and — your mistakes do not define you.
What began in 2017 with 20 yard signs – one woman’s response to a high suicide rate in her Oregon town – has evolved into a movement with thousands of these signs popping up all over the United States and abroad, and yes; along my route to work in San Antonio, Texas.
I bring this up, because these days, we all need to do our part to spread messages of hope. The most beautiful thing about these signs is that they are a reminder that anyone, anywhere, can make a difference. Like Amy Wolff, the sign lady, all we have to do is something.
Today, I would like to focus on some of the “something” we can do to lift each other up spiritually. The last thing we want to do during this time is to forget about or abandon our spiritual exercises which are at the heart of maintaining a spirit of hope.
How to Start
First and foremost, praying for each other and for our country & world is so important right now.
Letting others know that we are praying for them can be very consoling and encouraging.
What Else Can We Do?
Here are some other ideas and ways we can attend to the spiritual well-being of those around us:
- Provide Sacramentals to Others: Surprise someone – even a stranger – with a Rosary, small bottle of holy water, or perhaps a prayer card. Not only does this make someone feel cared about, but it also encourages them in their faith life.
- Start a Group Virtual Prayer Time: Gather with others at a particular time for a virtual prayer session. During this time, participants can share what their particular prayer needs are, and then the group can offer up these prayer intentions as they pray together.
- Email Links to Online Messages of Hope to Others: While you may be aware of all the spiritually enriching resources offered by Pilgrim Center of Hope, others may not be. Take a moment to send out a link to our Journey with Jesus and Meet Mary weekly virtual reflections. You can also send them one of our monthly video presentations – Meet the Master or Socials with the Saints.
- Gather the Family Together: Even though our churches have re-opened, some folks haven’t returned to in-person Mass to avoid the coronavirus. If that’s the case in your household, aside from watching live-streams from your parish or other parts, build in some family time to read Scripture, pray together, and as a family engage in acts of kindness.
- Consider Doing More Tithing: Taking into account that the economic impact of the pandemic has been far reaching, if you are not having to endure a financial crisis and have been relatively un-affected by COVID-19, then perhaps you will consider utilizing what you might have spent on entertainment, vacations, and eating out to help support non-profits that are suffering. For families, this can provide a great lesson for children when it comes to the importance of tithing and supporting worthy causes.
Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have; God is pleased by sacrifices of that kind. (Hebrews 13:16)
Doing something to spread hope to others is not easy. This takes sacrifice and stepping out of your routine or comfort zone, but the rewards are tremendous.
Robert V. Rodriguez is Public Relations & Outreach Assistant for Pilgrim Center of Hope. He combines a passion for the Catholic faith together with years of professional experience as a TV news journalist, video producer, and PR/marketing specialist. Robert also serves as Chairman for our annual “Master, I Want to See” Catholic Men’s Conference.
Answering Christ’s call, Pilgrim Center of Hope guides people to encounter Him so as to live in hope, as pilgrims in daily life. See what’s happening & let us journey with you! Visit PilgrimCenterOfHope.org.