You know what I love about being Catholic? The works of mercy.

They’re faith in action. They’re actions speak louder. They’re hands-on, tangible, touch-and-see-and-feel.

And they’re hard.

I’m in a season when I consider “feeding the hungry” done if I successfully make dinner. I’ve been suspecting lately that there might be some slactivism at work in my own definitions of what’s “done” with works of mercy…

…and then I started a conversation around here with my sister-in-law, who feels strongly about justice and happens to also bill herself as an atheist.

So I blame credit her for this post.

She’s the one who made me aware of “Light the Night.” It’s a walk the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society sponsors around the country to fund treatments and research.


In early August, I decided I was going to join Brittany. After I made the decision, I opened my email, and there was a message stating that little Billy (not his real name) wouldn’t be at Vacation Bible School that night because his 18-month-old brother was going to be beginning treatments for a form of lymphoma.

I felt pretty justified and invested.

I haven’t heard the updates on Billy’s little brother, but later that week we heard that they were no longer, in fact, sure of the diagnosis.

Then, just a few weeks ago, I learned that a family member possibly has lymphoma.

All of a sudden, it got personal in a whole new way.


There are a lot of children who are impacted each year by leukemia. There are a lot of families who are touched by lymphoma.

From the fundraising information:

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is on the brink of incredible breakthroughs that have already begun to change the lives of thousands of patients; treatments that can manage a person’s condition with a daily pill, therapies that seek out cancer cells and kill them, and the use of a patient’s own immune system to eradicate cancer not someday, but today.

I’m asking you for two things.

First, please pray. Pray for those who face the brick wall also known as cancer and for those who are touched in some way by the research that’s funded by the LLS. Pray for those who mourn, for those who dread, and most especially for those who feel there is no hope.

I’ve picked St. Peregrine as my patron for this event, and I hope you’ll join me in turning to him for those who face the c-word.

Second, please help me spread the word. My personal goal is to raise $500. (I feel both that that’s ridiculously small and that that’s unattainable, depending on the day.)

In fact, I’m even offering a giveaway book to everyone who donates by September 15. (That should help the shelf-clearing project quite a bit, don’t you think?)

Thanks, from me, and from those who benefit from the funds raised.

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