Making real friends among the poor–I think many saints have said it. More have certainly lived it. But it can still be a big step, however recommended:
398. Only the closeness that makes us friends enables us to appreciate deeply the values of the poor today, their legitimate desires, and their own manner of living the faith. The option for the poor should lead us to friendship with the poor. Day by day the poor become agents of evangelization and of comprehensive human promotion: they educate their children in the faith, they engage in ongoing solidarity among relatives and neighbors, they constantly seek God, and give life to the Church’s pilgrimage. In the light of the gospel, we recognize their immense dignity and their sacred worth in the eyes of Christ, who was poor like them and excluded among them. Out of this believing experience, we will share with them the defense of their rights.
Too big a step? Maybe it’s a good moment to practice on family members, neighbors, and others at school or at work who vex us. Remember, the Lord Jesus promised an encounter with his real presence whenever we feed, visit, console, or otherwise reach out to someone who is in difficulty.
For deeper examination, an English translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference.