This is just the first of the topics covered by Lynn L’Heureux in her reflections for Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Are you God’s Messenger? – Changing our Inner Self – Celebrate Differences – Take the Plunge!
Dear Vincentian Family: Can you believe February is here. For those suffering the harsh winter, this is a joyful month of love and looking forward to spring coming. Winter will be gone before we know it and the skiers will be waiting for winter. The one constant thing in our life is God’s love which includes forgiveness, guidance and always being there. I encourage you to read Scripture more. Begin your day with the Word and see the difference. Find a word from the Scripture that speaks to you and pray on the word. It is a little message from God and living it will always give you a good day. Pray for each other and our clergy from the bottom up and all those who bug you, pray for understanding. Pray in thanksgiving. Pray also for our seminarians each day. Give thanks to God for all the good He does through you.
Are You God’s Messenger? – The short answer is “YES” or we should be. God works through us and we are His messenger. Sometimes we forget to give Him the credit for the entire good taking place. We, as Vincentians, serve Him and He in turn often gives those we serve the miracle of hope. It is God working through us which accomplishes this task. This is our responsibility to serve and to show His love through our service. We are called to set the good examples, to love, live and spread the Word. Believing in Christ makes us the hands, feet, voice and servant to those in need. Through the example of Jesus, we bring hope and we make changes through Him. He sends us and we are His Messenger. This is clearly not an option. It is a commandment. We say “Yes” to this service and the service is to Christ in everyone around us and especially those in poverty. Being God’s messenger is a commitment filled with joy; and sometimes tears, but always loves, embrace it and pray always to bring the message with God’s help. Remember to praise Him for the work He accomplishes through you.
Changing our Inner Self – Have you ever been criticized? Have you been jealous of someone? Have you gossiped? All of these things and others make our life tortured and we distance ourselves a little from God. Sometimes we think we are better. We forget we were all created equal and God loves us equally. So this is where the fasting comes in. We can change ourselves by fasting and the best things we can fast from are: criticism, jealousy gossiping, lack of forgiveness, wasting food, your time and other things. We are such a throwaway society. Give ourselves to others, don’t rush when helping others. The work we do is God’s work. Fast from a lack of humility. When you meet the poor, see Jesus in them and let them see Jesus in you. Fast from judging (this is a hard one for most). Try to understand those you disagree with. Pray that you change, not the other person, pray you understand more. Never fast from praying, pray always. Always be happy. Smiles are prayers from God share them with others as a silent prayer. Fast from anger and sadness. Much of this relates to Pope Francis’ list, as found on www.rappier.com . Our deacon used this list to give his homily a few weeks ago. It has since been printed in the bulletin. He ended the homily with “Be happy. Sing with joy. Don’t have any sour pickle faces.” Our deacon is recovering from surgery, please say a prayer for Deacon Art.
Celebrate Differences – Think of a world where everyone thought like us. Things would really be warped and the excitement would be gone. We would all eat the same foods, holiday in the same places; watch the same movies and so on. Quite frankly things would be really warped. Not everyone agrees and sometimes we are mocked for serving the poor. I know it is difficult, but we must try to celebrate the differences. Celebrate the accomplishments. We have a great organization with many levels and many family members. Let us celebrate our Vincentian Family each day. We defend the poor within our Vincentian Family through God. He is always with us to give us the words and help us celebrate. Everything we do is in God’s hands.
I read a quote from Pope Francis today on www.famvin.org/en and it said, “God is not Catholic.” I really prayed on this one. We have to celebrate differences. I have met with a Jewish friend and we have prayed together one day a week. We pray mostly outdoors and read the paper and prayed for each tragedy in the news. We also prayed a few times in the Catholic Chapel. It was good. One more sharing of prayer was a few years ago when helping someone God place before me. She was Muslim and pregnant with triplets. Her husband lost his job in her 5th month of pregnancy. She had two other children under 5 and one was challenged. We met twice a week to pray and we cried together. God was with us. Of course I also helped with the babies. This was a celebration with God.
Take the Plunge! Sometimes we truly feel stuck in the mud or bogged down. We have to take a plunge of Faith. Go to the muddy waters. Do not become stagnant. If you stay where you are you could wither and die. Make the dive; come on in, the water is great. We must go to the deep to know God better and knowing Him better, we serve Him better. Get closer to God. God is truly on our side. “Be bold enough to believe that God is on your side, even when you forget to be on His. Live your life, then, not by law, but by love. If you love God, you will never do anything to hurt God, and, therefore, never make yourself unhappy.” —Fulton J. Sheen
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 email@example.com
There are over two hundred Vincentians in 5 Countries and it is translated into 3 languages, hopefully soon to be 4. We have a group which brings the prayer into China and it is translated into Mandarin and other Chinese dialects.