Thu | Dec 8, 2016

Missionaries of the Poor touching one life at a time

Published:Friday | April 24, 2015 | 12:00 AM

MISSIONARIES OF the Poor has been one miracle after another. It can only be by the power of God. He is always at work. He finds us malleable like clay in His potter's hand.

We work as if everything depends on us, and pray as though everything depends on God. But He does more than we could ever do. We beg, we build our homes for the poor, homeless and destitute. We build our own monasteries. We build our own beds and chairs. We cook, clean, make our own clothes, cut each other's hair.

We know that prayer is most precious in our lives. We pray each day for 41/2 hours. We rise at 5:30 a.m. We go to bed in bunk beds at 9:30 p.m. We have three meals per day, no snacking in between.

We find Christ in the Word of God. We read the Scriptures each day, we meditate, we work - as monks do, and we labour all day long. There are no cigarettes, no alcohol, no salaries, and no public media. There is silence at night time and most of our meals.

Our prayer life is most important to us. There are 40 days of prayer in silence twice in our formation and eight days of silent retreat annually, three days of silent prayer annually, plus one day per month throughout the year. We pray, meditate, correct each other.

What a life of simplicity, of poverty, celibacy, obedience and free service to the poorest.

Everyday we feel consolation. We feel His presence. We see Him at work. These are the signs and miracles. We are directed each day living as He requests. We work directly with the poor, we obey His word, we take up the cross daily, we live in community, we share everything - our talents, our time, and our lives. No salary is given. We leave the world behind. And He provides everything! At the present, after 34 years of living under His word and His masterful care. We have 22 monasteries, two convents, 24 apostolic houses for the poor, and seven clinics - all is given free of cost, without financing from governments.

We are in many countries: Kenya, Uganda, Haiti, Indo-nesia, India, Philippines, Jamaica and the USA. Jamaica is the Mother House, and the seat of formation and governance. God used Jamaica to give light to the world of humanity lived out and provided in our modern times. All this has been done by the Lord. There are 560 brothers and priests. I am a happy man that God has used me, and these were incredibly holy and generous men so fully and completely dedicated to our ideals.

 

we have the Lord

 

I have no money in my pocket, just like the rest of the brothers. All we have is the Lord, each other, and the poor. Yet, God has made us so much - full of laughter, music, a simple satisfied life, fellowship, and the deep peace of service the poor.

This is what being pontifical means. Missionaries of the Poor is elevated under Pope Francis, the first-ever religious community in the history of the Caribbean Church to give witness to the Universal Church, and the world, what is the meaning and purpose of our faith in modern times.

Truly the Lord has magnified Missionaries of the Poor, a simple, humble community of religious brothers, founded in Jamaica, to give witness and to call others to devote themselves - religious and lay people - to a life of holiness, which spreads the good news of Jesus all through the world.

- Father Ho Lung is founder of Missionaries of the Poor.