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I Was Homeless View Comments
By Gail Busiek

BIBLE READING has gotten me into trouble over and over again.

This began to happen when I went to live in subsidized housing for two years. There, the social worker, who was the assistant to the director, threatened me with a day-treatment program for the mental health-challenged because, as she said, I was “reading that book so much.” She seemed to have limitless power over the residents of the five housing complexes in town, so I gave away my furniture and left my little apartment with my Bible and not much else.

Since I had a car at first, it was easy to live in the Boston shelter system. I was OK for about two years. But when the car had to be junked, I tried to stay at CASPAR, a “wet shelter” in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (A “wet shelter” is one where people abusing alcohol are welcome.) It was the only shelter I knew of where residents could stay not only at night, but also throughout the day.

I was happy to stay in all day because of severe rheumatoid arthritis, which made it hard for me to walk. Most shelters are for overnights only. Elderly, sick, or disabled homeless who cannot survive the streets are expected to accept nursinghome placement.

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Benedict Joseph Labre: Benedict Joseph Labre was truly eccentric, one of God's special little ones. Born in France and the eldest of 18 children, he studied under his uncle, a parish priest. Because of poor health and a lack of suitable academic preparation he was unsuccessful in his attempts to enter the religious life. Then, at 16 years of age, a profound change took place. Benedict lost his desire to study and gave up all thoughts of the priesthood, much to the consternation of his relatives. 
<p>He became a pilgrim, traveling from one great shrine to another, living off alms. He wore the rags of a beggar and shared his food with the poor. Filled with the love of God and neighbor, Benedict had special devotion to the Blessed Mother and to the Blessed Sacrament. In Rome, where he lived in the Colosseum for a time, he was called "the poor man of the Forty Hours Devotion" and "the beggar of Rome." The people accepted his ragged appearance better than he did. His excuse to himself was that "our comfort is not in this world." </p><p>On the last day of his life, April 16, 1783, Benedict Joseph dragged himself to a church in Rome and prayed there for two hours before he collapsed, dying peacefully in a nearby house. Immediately after his death the people proclaimed him a saint. </p><p>He was officially proclaimed a saint by Pope Leo XIII at canonization ceremonies in 1883.</p> American Catholic Blog Today offers limitless possibilities for holiness. Lean into His grace. The only thing keeping us from sainthood is ourselves.

 
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