It takes more than simply good intentions

It’s no secret that autumn is my favorite season. Every season has its good and bad, but for me the scales of pros and cons tips towards the pros in fall.

First of all, it’s when football season is in overload mode. College, professional, high school, Pop Warner — you name it, they play it.

Secondly, it’s also no secret that I’m not a proponent of hot weather. Give me chilly mornings, cool afternoons, color-splashed woodlands, and  watching others rake leaves, and I’m in my glory.

But, as is the case with mostly everything I enjoy in life, my pleasures are, by and large, unintentionally selfish.

You see, when I take pleasures in the simple things in life, I’m assuming that everyone has access or exposure to the simple things in life.

When I get a thrill from seeing my breath in the air when taking Igor out in the morning, I’m not really thinking of my countless brothers and sisters who actually had to sleep, or try to sleep, in those very same conditions all night long.

When I’m lazing back on my couch with a drink and a snack watching athletes knock themselves silly on a gridiron, I’m not really thinking about my brothers and sisters who would give anything to “eat the crumbs that fall from my plate,” to paraphrase Matthew’s Gospel.

And when I feel a chill in the house and I go to bump up the thermostat a degree or two, I’m not really thinking about my brothers and sisters who may actually have a home, but no means to pay to heat it.

I’m directing the next phase of this column to people like myself who every year tell themselves, “I’m going to collect all the overcoats, sweaters, sweatshirts and shoes I no longer wear and donate them to a local parish program for the poor,” and yet never do.

I’m calling myself out on this and vowing publicly that this is the year I do it.

I have things that have spent more than one fall and winter in a closet, that could have helped someone somewhere. And I feel absolutely disgusted by that.

I’m going to make this the best autumn/winter of my life by actually getting off my couch and into my closets and drawers and making a difference in some of my brothers’ and sisters’ lives. I’m going to give them the coat off my back without having to give them the coat off my back.

Within the next few weeks The Anchor will most likely run some stories on local food banks and clothing drives for Thanksgiving, as well as running some public service announcements about the same subject matters.

This is the year I’m going to do it — put my good intentions into practice. And I’m asking my brothers and sisters like me to do the same.

There are a plethora of faithful across our great diocese who do this on a consistent basis, and I applaud them for that.

I’ve always wanted to be like them, but for one lame reason or another, never followed through. I’m sorry. This year I will.

It’s fine to collect gently used clothing of our children to pass on to relatives with children a few years younger than our own. But truth be told, many of them don’t need the items as much as the homeless, poor, hungry, and destitute.

In actuality, these people are in fact relatives — in the big old family of God.

I’m going to enjoy this fall and winter as I usually do, but I think I’ll enjoy it a bit more after I transform my good intentions into even better actions.

It’s about time I did, don’t you think?

Dave Jolivet can be contacted at

© 2019 The Anchor and Anchor Publishing    †    Fall River, Massachusetts