Today we celebrate St. Peter Claver, a slave to the slaves of Cartagena in the years following his ordination in 1610.
I was struck by his life this morning while reading my Magnificat which says, ‘that while he could not free the slaves, he ministered to them….’.
Think on that for a moment – he could not free the slaves as he did not have the power or the funds to do so, but that did not prevent him from doing what he could. The problem of slavery was too complex for him to solve but that didn’t mean he couldn’t help. He did what he could.
Too often, I can find myself feeling helpless when confronted with a big, complicated situation and instead of doing what I can, I do nothing. From Hurricane Dorian to human trafficking I fight against feeling helpless and try to do what I can – pray and sacrifice – and leave the heavy lifting to God who can do all things –
Our responsorial psalm of today reminds us of His power and presence,
“Trust in him at all times, O my people!
Pour out your hearts before him;
God is our refuge!”
So, don’t get discouraged when the tough stuff hits the headlines or lands at your doorstep. St. Peter Claver is there for us and will join us in our prayers. Once again, he climb down into the ship’s hold to be at our side, doing what he can do – offer prayers, give comfort and remind us of God’s deep and abiding love!