Bad news abounds. Natural disasters overtake have the globe, filling the media with the tragedies of strangers. In my own life, people have strokes, become unemployed, fall on general hard times.
I suddenly remembered some time ago prayerfully wondering what could I do, as a Catholic, to 'help the poor and suffering' beyond writing a check to the local St. Vincent de Paul organization. It just hit me today, this is the answer to that prayer. The bad things would be there no matter what, surrounding someone, no matter what, because "the poor we always have with us." What's happened is that God has given me the grace to be that someone.
My unemployed neighbor needs help weeding and watering her garden, and paying for the vegetable plants we are growing; I have the blessing of being the one to help her. My fellow parishioner is ill and unable to attend to his parish responsibilities; I can share the blessing of helping him. My coworker's mother had a stroke; I have the blessing of praying for her and helping him take care of work while he takes care of her.
The world isn't wallowing in misery anymore; I have been given the grace to live my faith more completely.