Virtues in a snowstorm

For several days now, those of us who live in the Washington/Baltimore area have been digging out from at least two feet of snow! I’m a native of the Buffalo, N.Y. area, so this raises fond memories of childhood. But in my 40 years in Washington, I’ve never seen this depth before -- or this immobility.

I live in a municipality called University Park, near the University of Maryland. And, as my neighborhood began digging out on Sunday, I was struck by the sense of just plain old “neighborliness” that everyone showed. I don’t have a driveway, so one neighbor offered me the use of hers so I could comply with town requests to get cars off the street. Once the snow stopped, neighbors were digging each other out, sharing small snow blowers and offering whatever help they could. One couple without hot water even got hot showers at a neighbor’s house.

On the local “list serve” for University Park, people were asking about shut-ins, the elderly, who needed help getting groceries, volunteering at shelters, etc.

Most of these folks are not Catholic (although some are), but the helpfulness did launch a discussion of what we call “concern for the common good.” It is wonderful to see it in action. (And I’ll surely see more of it; we have 6-10 inches more coming tonight!)

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