Give me a break?

By Sr. Christina M. Neumann

I haven’t written anything on “The Scoop” since last week since I’m out of town, enjoying some days off with our Sisters in Rugby, ND, where they serve in Little Flower Parish. In asking myself whether I should try and write something while I’m away, I thought of our residents (and many others) who never are afforded this luxury.

What about those who never get any time away, any break or any vacation? Most of us have people we know who fit this category; for me, it’s residents at St. Anne’s. Although they do not have regular employment, they also do not have any break in their routine. Most don’t travel and some rarely leave the building. I would like to share some thoughts on what we (people who are mobile) can do for those who are more isolated and unable to take a “break” from everyday life (which can get monotonous, especially for North Dakotans in January).

So, how can we help such people? At St. Anne’s, our activities staff make every effort to offer engaging, interesting programs to brighten up the humdrumness residents can experience. We can all step out, reach out, to put a smile on someone else’s face. I can stop by a lounge where someone is sitting, looking at the paper, say ‘hello,’ and visit with the person, showing I care.

If you have a home-bound (or long-term care resident) relative, friend, neighbor, etc., I’d also like to suggest some things you can do to brighten things for them. Why not pick up the phone and call someone you know is alone?   Or, how about sending a card to loved one who feels isolated? Reaching out in a simple way may be just the “break” from monotony that someone you know needs.

Another tool not to be overlooked in helping these people is to remember them in our prayers.

In preparing (mentally) for this reflection, the words of Matthew’s gospel (25:40) came to mind: “Whenever you did it for the least of my brothers, you did it for me.” In taking five minutes to reach out to someone in need, we are going beyond what our eyes can see, we are extending love and care to Christ Himself. Why not take a small “break” from the business of your life to give someone else a little lift?