Charity, the first principle of the Knights of Columbus. I thought I would piggyback off of Brother Damo’s presentation during the May Business Meeting and talk briefly today about volunteerism. Why do we do it? Who does it help? I suspect if you ask ten people “why do you volunteer?”, you are likely to get 10 different answers. It can be to “payback” and validate something that someone did for you, because it is the right thing to do, to make someone feel better, to cheer someone up, to give to someone who doesn’t have the means to attain something, to aid those who do not have the same fortunes you are blessed with, and it can also be out of guilt or to right a wrong. There really is no one answer and on top of that, there really is no reason that is better than another. No matter what the reason, volunteering for a worthy outcome is the act of reaching out beyond our self, contributing to a good outside of self love. In that regard, your action is great, regardless of whether the recipient is one person or a global organization.
In reaching out beyond ourselves, we impact and participate actively in the community of the Church. The community nurtures and promotes our individual growth in faith. So by actively and positively tending to the community of God’s people we are giving buoyancy to that which we rely on for our own support. Remember also, God’s community includes all of God’s children…faithful or not, grateful or not.
The second question, “who does it help?” can be answered equally diverse as the first question. For each person, each action there is a different response. There is however also a common answer that question for all. The answer should always include “myself”. Truly, it is in giving, that we receive. What greater gift can you give to God than to reach out to one of His children when we know God says “whatsoever you do to the least of us, that you do unto me”. By helping another, you send Love to God, and in doing so God returns His Love to you. It is for this reason that it makes sense to volunteer with humility. If we act looking for recognition we defeat ourselves in that no greater recognition can be given than God sending His perfect Love to us.
God knows our hearts, God reads our actions. We are fortunate that as members of the Knights of Columbus we have several opportunities to volunteer for worthy causes. Thanks to our Community Director Jim Shough, and several other members, we have many chances to help ourselves by helping others. We are encouraged to take full advantage of these opportunities whenever they present themselves. Afterall, it is for your own good!