By: Sister Timothy Marie, O.C.D.
Sacrifice is defined as something that you give up, or as a loss, usually for the sake of a better cause. The word sacrifice originally had a religious meaning, coming from the Latin sacra and facere meaning “to perform sacred rites.”
There is a connection between “sacrifice” and “love.”
The example par excellence is Jesus on the Cross.
St. Teresa of Calcutta, wearing her threadbare blue and white sari, and offering her love and some food to an impoverished, sickly child is another.
Mother Luisita spending hours before the Blessed Sacrament on her knees, interceding for the world is still another stellar example.
Another example – one of my particular favorites – is a drawing, a poignant picture used by Boys Town in Omaha.
The Story Behind The Picture:
Back in 1918, a boy named Howard Loomis was abandoned by his mother at Father Flanagan’s Home for Boys, which had opened just a year earlier. Howard had polio and wore heavy leg braces. Walking was difficult for him, especially when he had to go up or down steps.
Soon, several of the Home’s older boys were carrying Howard up and down the stairs.
One day, Father Flanagan asked Reuben Granger, one of those older boys, if carrying Howard was hard.
Reuben replied, “He ain’t heavy, Father… he’s m’ brother.”
But the story doesn’t end there.
In 1943, Father Flanagan was paging through a copy of Ideal magazine when he saw an image of an older boy carrying a younger boy on his back. The caption read, “He ain’t heavy, mister… he’s my brother.”
Immediately, the priest was reminded of a photo of Reuben carrying Howard at a Boys Town picnic many years before. Father Flanagan wrote to the magazine and requested permission to use the image and quote. The magazine agreed, and Boys Town adopted them both to define its new brand.
A picture is worth a thousand words.