Lynn L’Heureux reflects on Why are we here? T.H.I.N.K. before acting –– How do others know?
Dear Vincentian Family:
Prayer is a blessing. We all need to make the time to pray. Put God number 1 on your agenda. Before each meeting pray that the discussion will bless those we serve. Ask the question: “Is this discussion leading to a solution to lifting the poor from their poverty?” “Will it improve the lives of those we serve?” “Is it blessed by God?” Begin begging for love and forgiveness. We are so blessed. Keep in your prayers today all who suffer in disasters and violence. So many people are hurting financially and in need of jobs. We need to pray for all the disadvantaged. Not just those in our backyard, but those around the world. In SSVP Frederic Ozanam wanted to cover the world in a blanket of charity and he proclaimed that charity and justice are together, one cannot exist without the other.
Celebrations for Blessed Frederic Ozanam occurred around the world last week. He was born 200 years ago and we still learn from him. He was a rare individual of intellectual genius and extraordinary holiness. He calls us to journey on his path as the “anointed ones” anointed in Christ, serving Christ. We are Christians by this anointing and it comes with the responsibility to serve and love and share God’s love with others. When we falter we can start anew, because our God is forgiving and He is a God of compassion. Try to find some quiet time for prayer and scripture and ask God to help you do your work in holiness and love. Amen
Why are we here? It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or even what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is your interaction with God that makes you great. Happiness comes with knowing you are doing His will. “The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.” — Samuel Johnson I believe that this is how Frederic Ozanam lived his life and how he became holy. We are here to do the same, be holy. Don’t let the journey discourage you. The road to holiness is the right one.
T.H.I.N.K before you act! Beware of half truths; you may get the wrong half. In our work, prayer is a must. We need to call on God to help us determine our action. Taking each letter of the word “THINK” we take the “T”- is it True? We get many stories and we have to weigh them for theTruth, prayer and contemplation are needed. “H” Is our work helpful? Sometimes we use a bandage when a transplant is needed. Pray to know when we are no longer helping. “I” Is what we are doing working? Do we Inspire? Involve those we serve to work with us for a better life. “N” Is the service Necessary? More prayer is needed to become aware. And finally “K” Are we kind? Kindness shows the love of Christ. We wrap our visit and service in all our activities with meaningful prayer and listening to the answers God gives us.
How do others know who you are? Do people know you are a Christian, or is it hidden? Being a Christian is a good thing. It is exciting. Sometimes I just want to shout, God loves me! Loves me! I was unable to attend Mass last Sunday do to a glitch in my health. I felt cheated and my husband said, “Lynn God hears you wherever you are”, and then he said something interesting. “You are buddies on a first name basis.” He was joking, but it really felt good. Let people know you are Christian, by your service, your love of others.
There are probably more than five simple rules for happiness, but these are ones I like to practice: 1. Take all hatred from your heart, forgive. 2. Free yourself from worries and worrisome thoughts. Give them to God; lay them at the cross of Jesus. 3. Live humbly and simply. Don’t complicate your life and pray often for you to listen to God’s plan. 4. Give more. Give more of yourself to your family and especially your spouse. Be present and enjoy the moments they are there. Give more of yourself to those we are called to serve. Giving more, does not always mean money. The most difficult gift and most valuable is your time. Pray for quality time with others, so you can give more. 5. Expect less. Be happy with what you have and praise God for those gifts you have and the ones still to come. This will liberate your heart and live as Jesus invites in an uncluttered life and heart filled with what we need most, love and great devotion to the Lord.
Dear Lord, thank you for the love and support of those around me. Help me to know that every day may not be good, but there is something good in everyday. I pray for all those reading this reflection and ask you to feel the gentle touch and caress of Jesus as He keeps you close to Him. In John, Jesus says, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled.” Amen.
Remember to visit www.famvin.org/en and search on the site for celebrations of Ozanam and much more good stuff.
Video adaptation of Vincentian music
Lynn L’Heureux is Special needs co-coordinator & Advisor of the Society of St Vincent de Paul Calgary Alberta Canada
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