Living Psalms – Vincentian Virtues – Wasting Time – Are Your Intentions Good – the subjects Lynn L’Heureux reflects on in Vincentian Day of Prayer and Fast – Tuesday February 11, 2014
Greetings dear Vincentian Brothers and Sisters: How special each one of you are. Today is World Health Day and we should be praying for all who are sick. We especially need to pray often for our young people. I get so many prayer requests from people suffering from so many illnesses and young people being bullied and elder abuse. Sometimes all we have is prayer and we can never forget. Pray for the joyful things as well. Keep joy as a number one gift to share. We don’t want to be pickled peppers, we want to be joy. Smile always, even on the phone, it is a silent prayer. Use it often.
Living Psalms – Lately I seem to be surrounded by Psalms. We should be living them each day. We will all have a favorite and it may change. Years ago when I was first introduced seriously to Scripture, I clung to a Good News Bible. I still have it and occasionally go to it to see my quotes, underlines and folded pages or stickers. I look at the old dates and my comments. The earliest date is 1975 and my favorite Psalm from that date is Ps. 138:8. The GN wording, “Lord your love is eternal, complete the work you have begun.” I always interpreted this as I am a work in progress and God is not finished yet. My friend Ron and I have shared special words from his favorite Psalm – 68:2-9. I have been reflecting on it and each day I have a different message. Upon searching through my old Bible and reflecting on Ron’s favorite psalm, I am now thirsting for more. I encourage you to live the Psalms. Pick one for the day and live it. “O God, you are my God, for you I long; for you my soul is thirsting” (Ps 68:2).
Vincentian Virtues – There are five of them; Simplicity, Humility, Meekness, Mortification and Zeal. Reflect on each one. These would be good for Lent. We could focus on one each week. I remember Fr. Ron Ramson, teaching these to us in the early years of my Vincentian journey. Everything was so new to my husband, Tony and I. We both remember Father Ramson and this talk and how he related to so many different kinds of mustard. We are different, like mustard or an onion. We have so many layers. We need to embrace each of these virtues to make us better Vincentians and better servants. Father Ramson’s book praying with Ozanam is a true gift for your soul. His new book, Hosanna is amazing. You will see all the Vincentian virtues between the lines of these books and you will feel the close friendship of knowing Frederic Ozanam through the eyes of Father Ramson. Look for his books and live the Vincentian Virtues.
Wasting Time: Thinking about the things which stress us, is truly a waste of time! We have choices. We can be bitter when things do not go our way or when we are in pain or we can lift it up to Christ who will gladly carry it for us. Fear is the biggest waste of time, equal to anger. Remember John Paul had a slogan from the Gospel, “Be not afraid – just have faith” There is also a song. We should try to use our pain and misfortunes or discomforts to better the lives of others; with the help of our Lord anything is possible. When you arrive at one goal, you are not finished. It just means you can start another one. This is not wasting time.
Are your Intentions Good? – Sometimes we get the best ideas, but are they really for the good of others. Let your intentions be the purest possible. Let your duties and actions be for the glory of God. Trying to lift someone from poverty is a great intention; do not forget to follow through. Keep your good intentions moving always. Let God speak to us in the quiet moments of our life. He came to Joseph 3 times in his sleep and others in Scripture encountered the best messages in their sleep. Rest in our Lord and be ready to receive the message to keep your good intentions good and for His glory. Looking to heaven as in Ps 16:5. Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. This is a comfortable picture for me; I love lying down and look at the clouds. God speaks to us in quietness and in dreams while we sleep. It is not a good idea to sleep during a lecture or a homily, but other times it is acceptable. Keep your intentions, good.
Pray for each other always and check out the www.famvin/eng website and other Vincentian sites. I love reading about the different members of our family. We can learn so much from one another, we just have to stop and listen or smell the flowers, so to speak. My prayers are with all of you this week with great love. Always pray for our clergy and seminarians. Pray for immigrants as well. Listen to their stories. One family was in terrible circumstances before coming to Canada. The one daughter was sexually abused in the refugee camp and the family was told not everyone could go to Canada. They wanted the young daughter to stay behind, an older sister came forward to tell the soldiers she would take her young sisters place. It reminds me of St. Maximilian Kolbe giving up his life and freedom in the concentration camp. Look for miracles, they are everywhere. God is always working.
Lynn L’Heureux is Special needs co-coordinator & Advisor of the Society of St Vincent de Paul Calgary Alberta Canada
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