On the Feast of St Thérèse of Lisieux

In my research for educational material to post to Facebook and Twitter over the past few weeks, I’ve located information about countless organizations throughout the world that work to eradicate human trafficking. These organizations operate at the local, regional, national, and international levels to identify and arrest traffickers, to support survivors and their families, and to educate the public on how to spot traffickers and their victims. Truckers, airlines, health care agencies, hotel chains, universities—and the list goes on—have all joined in the fight against this terrible evil that robs its victims of their dignity, their health, their peace of mind, and most of all, their freedom. Movies such as Taken illustrate how pervasive this crime has become and how devastating its consequences on victims and their families.

I am concerned that we may experience information overload and become numb to the suffering of our fellow humans. We may think that the problem is so large that we can do nothing worthwhile. We may despair because we do not have the money to make large donations or the stamina to join physically in the efforts to bring traffickers to justice or the time to walk beside survivors in their journey back to health and life.

I am also concerned that we may become complacent and fail to help because we think such a thing could never happen to us or to our family. However, no one is immune to being preyed upon. While it is true that those who were abused as children are more likely to become victims of trafficking, it is also true that young women who were never abused are duped into this life by job offers that seem genuine. Besides, everyone who needs your help is your neighbor. It breaks my heart that women are being exploited around the world, and I rejoice every time one of them is rescued.

That is why we must all join in this fight wherever we can, whenever we can, as we have the means to do so.

Encouragement to do loving deeds to the glory of God and the good of humankind is the enduring message of St Thérèse of Lisieux:

  • I am the smallest of creatures and I recognize my worthlessness, but I also know how hearts that are generous and noble love to do good.
  • You know well enough that Our Lord does not look so much at the greatness of our actions, nor even at their difficulty, but at the love with which we do them.
  • Miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice, here by a smiling look, there by a kindly word; always doing the smallest right and doing it all for love.

Today, October 1, on the Feast of St Thérèse of Lisieux, may we renew our efforts to do what we can to support the victims of trafficking. What “smallest right” thing will you do today to rescue victims and turn them into survivors?

If you are able, consider that “smallest right” thing to be a donation to The Lisieux Community to help our residents continue to survive and thrive. Any amount that you can give will be gratefully received and wisely used.

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