I am very unacquainted with St. Paul’s “secret of going hungry.” How do I come to know it better, without starving myself? I know something of it by visiting the poor, though the first thing they always want to do is feed me! How readily they share! Is there something of Saint Paul’s “secret” in the humiliation of accepting their generosity?

Perhaps my “secret” lies in being as willing to receive generosity as to offer it? Though not materially poor, I can plumb the depths of my own scarcity. I can be willing to ask help from others when I can’t find the right words, can only pretend to know, or lack the courage to do what must be done. The secret of my own neediness must be laid bare so, like St. Paul, I can show myself and others what it means to trust in Christ, in every circumstance.

—Fr. Mark Mossa, SJ, is the Director of Campus Ministry at Spring Hill College in Mobile, AL.