Vincentian – Searching, Discouragement, Satisfaction and Celebration (7/16/13)
Dear Vincentian Family: Welcome to the many new members on this mailing list to receive this reflection. If we look at the news, there are so many people to pray for and so many disasters and tragedies. We have had three disasters in Canada and all are not the usual. Pope Francis included prayers for the derailment at Lac-Mégantic, and the tragic loss of its many victims, and those who are still unaccounted for. Toronto suffered major floods with evacuations. Plane crash in San Francisco a tragedy and a blessing and so many other things around the world. Pray for all people suffering and the many that have financial stress, losing everything and having nothing to build again with. We come together in prayer for displaced peoples, unbelievers and all workers, especially our Vincentian Family around the world. I pray for each of you and for all new presidents and officers.
Searching? What are you searching for? Most are looking for love, acceptance, fame, wealth and other materials of a world that demands perfection. We often feel like the choice is made for us and we feel we don’t really have a choice. Maybe we are looking in the wrong places. We have a choice. We were given free will and it often gets us into trouble.
The best search and is through God – the Trinity – leads us and our search is over. Our Lord leads us to re-evangelization with renewed hope. I always questioned what a practicing Catholic was. When does your practice end? Some of us are Catholic in name only and still searching, we go to Mass and nothing changes. We are called, the search is over. Answer the call to know your faith and share with others. Live the Gospel and stop practicing your faith – live it in your families and in all we serve.
Discouragement is inevitable in our lives today, based on the society we live in. If we suffer from lack of basic needs, we can be very discouraged. If we have a failed relationship there is more discouragement. Think of how Jesus was challenged. He leaned on the Father and kept going through all the insults He kept the Father’s will. Those we serve are discouraged; they are the sheep with a Shepherd. Challenge yourself to take action and do what is right.
Jesus was motivated by the needs around Him. He was not harassed by the words and actions. Oh that we could do the same. Maybe, you do, I have to pray a lot to hold down my anger. No one has the right to steal your joy. That is a God-given gift and we can choose to keep it. Why would we give it up to people who laugh and mock us? We do what is right and we give it to God.
I am reminded each day as I read scripture, how Jesus could have been so discouraged. He had the power to wipe out those that are held up as doing God’s will, but relish in the destruction and control of others. He chose the right path – the will of the Father and it was the right thing to do. We have to pray to pray each to be holy, not holier than others, but truly holy and serve those that God places before us with love and friendship, protecting their dignity.
We are the servant, serving Christ in all who suffer and are in need. Say this often. It can be your visiting mantra. “I am serving Christ.” Our vocation is to be Jesus’ hands and feet, voice and heart. This usually triggers persecution from those who fail to understand us, but are we going to let that control our moods?
Satisfaction is reward for doing what is right and just. The Rolling Stones sing out, “I can’t get no satisfaction.” And lament they have tried and tried. They were searching in the wrong direction. (My husband Tony’s contribution to the reflection). We can all get satisfaction by living God’s message and in particular by praying the Psalms. This one sent by one of our translators, Jess.
Why should I help the poor? “Oh, the joys of those who are kind to the poor. The Lord rescues them in times of trouble. The Lord protects them and keeps them alive. He gives them prosperity and rescues them from their enemies. The Lord nurses them when they are sick and eases their pain and discomfort. Psalm 41:1-3 NLT
Scripture is our road map to doing what is right and in particular the Psalms have a way of guiding us. They are divinely inspired and true prayers. They are indeed like the Our Father. They teach us to pray, praise, give glory and thanks and who to cry out to God. They are gifts from God and it makes sense to pray them often.
Celebration is ours for God is with us. When we can no longer change a situation God challenges us to change ourselves and we will always receive the answer. Our reward is liberation from the ties of the world and our ultimate goal … eternal life, the best part. All we have to do is witness our faith and serve. We always serve in pairs. This too is an awesome gift in SSVP, but in Scripture Jesus sent out the apostles in pairs and Jesus himself never went alone. Celebrate your oneness with Christ and live in the trinity. Reap the rewards and keep going toward holiness to always serve those in need and each other. To know, to love and imitate Christ is to see the world through his eyes. See as God does, want what God wants and try to be the Jesus to all people. Be better every day with God’s help and Celebrate!
During the summer is a good time to check out www.famvin.org/en/news and perhaps sign up for daily news and receive the Vincentian quote of the day. Don’t forget to browse the treasure of Vincentian formation resources . We are very lucky to belong to the World of Vincentians.
Lynn L’Heureux is Special needs co-coordinator & Advisor of the Society of St Vincent de Paul Calgary Alberta Canada
Subscribe to her weekly newsletter Vincentian Day of Prayer and Fast (English and Spanish) by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org