Ready for Lent? – What price do you pay for Christ at your door? – Pope Francis – Close to the Cross. Lynn L’Heureux reflects in her Vincentian Day of Prayer and Fast – Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Dear Vincentian Family: Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday and it is time to make an internal change. Yesterday was the first anniversary of Pope Francis. A year has passed already. Focus today on how your life has been touched by Pope Francis, your parish priest, deacon or your prayer partner. How have you been touched by someone you have served or served with. I encourage you to pray for young people. So many are bullied and feel unloved. I receive many emails asking for prayer for our young people, mostly from grandparents, but many from moms and dads who just want their child safe. We all need love. Bless your day and your week.
Ready for Lent? It is here and time to plan for a perfect Lent. Lent is like cleaning out your garage. Getting rid of stuff, but also getting good stuff in. Our ultimate desire is to know and serve God in this world today. Sometimes my own beliefs, opinions and desires get in the way of knowing and doing the will of God. We need to pray and fast and seek the help of our Holy Spirit to help mold us. We shouldn’t blame or resent others for being different, yet it really seems easy to do this. As Vincentians, we always say, “Do not Judge.” This is the first Rule for home visitors. We have to forgive our differences this Lent, especially in our families. So many families feel resentment, division and anger. Personally, my family is number one. Sometimes they get under my skin, but they are the best gift I have ever received from God. Find ways this Lent to make your family feel special. Look for your faults. I know it is tough to do, but we do have them and we do have a tough time acknowledging them. Who do you blame? Why blame? Whose fault is it? We can always blame God for giving us so much and letting us choose. We do have the right to choose and when we choose God and pray, it is the right choice. It doesn’t matter who is right or wrong. Forgiving our differences and choosing God is what matters most.The best way to heal your brokenness is give the pieces to God. Lent is a time to give our best. We need to reflect on how and how well we put our faith into action. Make this your Lenten Goal.
What price do you pay for Christ at your door? When those in need come to us, we look to see Jesus. We bring Jesus to their door and serve Jesus. We are not the Saviour. All we do as Vincentians is the work of our Lord. He is the Saviour and we are the messenger. So how much time and money should we spend to serve Christ? How much of us do we give? What is the right price? We turn to you Lord as you heal all our weakness in our strong wills and the stubbornness in our hearts. What price did you pay for us? You gave your life, You gave your all. Help us to share more fully in your divine life. We can change ourselves with daily meditation. We follow and serve and we have great role models in St. Vincent, Blessed Frederic Ozanam, Saint Louis de Marillac, Blessed Rosalie Rendu, St. Joseph, our Blessed Mother Mary and of course, our brother, saviour, counselor and guide who gives us the greatest love of all in the cross. Be ready and willing to take the Cross to the door of those we serve. They are placed before us by Christ and we know we are serving Him in all who are prisoners, confused, are bad planners and managers and may choose to hurt themselves with drugs and alcohol. They are Christ asking us to help them.
Pope Francis has celebrated his first anniversary! How quick did the time go and how much he has taught us. There are so many teachings, we could choose a different one each day, but even if we take his seven statements to make us better people, we will do well. Reflect on his writings. There are so many things printed. Be sure we pray for him each day as he truly is a Vincentian Pope. He loves those he serves as Christ does. He is humble and goodness flows from him. He readily serves our Lord. In the March issue of Catholic update you will find the Seven Lessons from Pope Francis. Pope Francis has said, “It is not enough to say we are Christians. We must live the faith, not only with our words, but with our actions”. And “If we live the faith in our daily life then our work too becomes a chance to spread the joy of being a Christian.” Isn’t this walking the talk? God truly blessed the world with Pope Francis who truly walks the talk in humility and loving service to all. What actions of Pope Francis have inspired you? Share them with others, especially in your family.
Close to the Cross – Be close to the Cross. Acknowledge it and embrace it. Each one of you is a miracle, acknowledge Christ in others. Embrace the Cross and celebrate the miracle of each one of us. Look around, miracles are not as rare as you think they are. Celebrate the cross each day and know it is for you. Jesus took the cross for you, stay close. If you feel broken bring your pieces to the Cross and feel the love and joy of Jesus.
Lynn L’Heureux is Special needs co-coordinator & Advisor of the Society of St Vincent de Paul Calgary Alberta Canada.
Her newsletter is translated into 3 languages, hopefully soon to be 4. They have a group which brings the prayer into China and it is translated into Mandarin and other Chinese dialects.
Subscribe to her weekly newsletter Vincentian Day of Prayer and Fast (English and Spanish) by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Tags: Calgary, Canada, L'Heureux, Lent, Society of St. Vincent de Paul, SVDP