Today we conclude the series of posts dedicated to Fr. Jm Cormack’s reflections on what he thinks would be Vincent’s questions to those who wish to serve those on the margins today.

The questions are simple and direct…

1. Why do I do what I do?
2. Am I weak enough to be a Vincentian?
3. Do I have the courage to serve?
4. Am I ready to give up … to serve?
5. Am I loved enough?
6. Am I visionary enough to serve?
7. Am I a person of desire?

The last question is crucial!

7) People of Desire

Finally we ask, are we persons of desire, swept up and swept away by the call God gives? We want, yearn for, desire to see, to hear, to love our brothers and sisters, to change the minds and structures that divide, to struggle daily for what is right.

We desire that energy that feeds zeal.

We desire and live with its surges, its movements, taking us farther and deeper than we would go if moved only by reasoned choice.

The poor demand desire. If we would serve them, desire is required.

Desire seems always a central mark of those who do great things; it shows grace incarnate, and it transforms our gifts, ordinary and commonplace, into something more. Desire is rarely neat, nor easily planned or controlled; yet with all its risk, it fills us and allows us to touch, if only for a moment, the fullness we one day will have in the peace of God’s kingdom.

Because I am a Vincentian minister and privileged to be called to be in service, I daily am called to live the charism of Vincent de Paul. If I live this charism I feel its power and grow as a loving servant.

I ask myself these questions I have posed regularly to keep my heart and mind centered on my call and faithful to the genius of the saint whose path I follow.

I offer these reflections to any like me who might choose to respond to the call of the Lord to be in service with the poor.

I offer them not as an exhaustive list or an evaluative tool.

Rather I offer them as a way to know the power of God which so moved Vincent de Paul, hoping that this knowledge can lead us to move forward in compassion, love and service.

Click this link for access to the whole series.


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