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Monday 19 April |
Saint of the Day: Pope Saint Leo IX

‘Service is not the same as helping…’

© violetkaipa/SHUTTERSTOCK

help a friend aimer un ami aiutare un amico

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 06/02/17

A friend posted this on her Facebook page this morning, and it offers wisdom to many of us in ministry: 

“Service is not the same as helping. Helping is based on inequality, it’s not a relationship between equals. When you help, you use your own strength to help someone with less strength. It’s a one up, one down relationship, and people feel this inequality. When we help, we may inadvertently take away more than we give, diminishing the person’s sense of self-worth and self-esteem… Serving is also different to fixing. We fix broken pipes; we don’t fix people. When I set about fixing another person, it’s because I see them as broken. Fixing is a form of judgment that separates us from one another; it creates a distance. So fundamentally, helping, fixing and serving are ways of seeing life. When you help, you see life as weak; when you fix, you see life as broken; and when you serve, you see life as whole. When we serve in this way, we understand that this person’s suffering is also my suffering, that their joy is also my joy… We may help or fix many things in our lives, but when we serve, we are always in the service of wholeness.” — Rachel Ramen

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