Master Builder – Embracing Others – Stairway to heaven – Getting Older
Vincentian Day of Prayer and Fast September 1, 2014
Dear Vincentian Family: Look at the gifts we have before us. Walk outside and feel the sun and know it is pardon for us. The birds’ singing gives us happiness. The joy of seeing a baby smile; the gentle breeze brushing our cheek is a kiss from God; seeing the rose bloom after it slept all winter and watching the daffodils bob in approval of our presence. We are nearer to God’s heart when we see Him in the garden than anywhere else on earth. Recognize His great creation and thank Him always for each day and the blessings brought by the day. Amen
Master Builder – When Jesus told Peter to build the church, he said My Church. There is no doubt; Jesus is the Master builder with the Father and the Holy Spirit. We really do not have CEO’s in the Church; we are the Church. We are the ones to make it great in the name of Jesus. We, the Church should count our blessings. Our blessings are rainbows, not thunderstorms. Keep the rainbows alive in the Church and in SSVP. Not everyone is the same and we will never be the Master Builder, but each day we can add and build a little more love into meetings and joy into our service. Pope Francis calls us to Joy, “If we have been saved and sustained by a love so deep that death itself couldn’t destroy it, then that love will see us through whatever darkness we are experiencing in our lives”. Each of our words to others, especially those we serve should be joyful, not self righteous and definitely not judgmental. Read the gospels over and over they are about love, especially for the weak and confused. Following the Gospels and the Master Builder who brings the Holy Spirit and Father to help us, we should achieve success and our work will be very pleasing to God.
Embracing Others – We proclaim the good news of the Lord when we read the psalms and use our own words of praise. Our truest form of praise is to embrace others; especially those who are lost or confused ad feel unloved. Our minds and hearts should always be open to the needs and pains of others. There are so many hurting people around us. We see them each day and sometimes want to dismiss them, but we are asked to accept them as Jesus accepts us. We strive to be a model and we remember Christ is in all of us and when we serve with kindness, it is Christ who receives the goodness. We embrace others by showing the compassion of Christ. We trust God as He teaches us and uses us to show the great love available. We start the process and God finishes the job. Make your highest priority the love and embracing of Jesus to others. Pray each day for this priority and your life will change and so will those you embrace. “Whoever humbles himself will be exalted by God.” (Matt. 23:12) We are happiest when we embrace others in God’s way.
Stairway to heaven– Always look to the cross for our steady climb to heaven’s doors. Jesus died for us, but before He died He taught us how we should live. He gives us advice through Scripture and He demonstrated loving and forgiveness of all. In Scripture we hear about loving and forgiving our enemies. We love everyone. This does not mean they are our best friends; however they are friends in Jesus. We show everyone the love and compassion of Jesus and we forgive the weaknesses of others. The cross of Jesus is our stairway and His teachings, when we follow make the climb easier. It is not a piece of cake, but it is easier and the right thing to do. Know also it will be the most challenging thing in your life. Humble yourself to forgive others even when they oppose you. Pray to forgive those who do not want your forgiveness and never slam the door to your heart. The heart will become heavy and the stairway climb will become difficult. How did Jesus do it? He prayed to the Father and followed His will to death on the cross, for all of us. It was His most important challenge and we should know it is ours, too. Heaven is our reward and the stairway has been built for us. Climb it with the cross of Jesus.
Getting Older – We all get a little older each day. August was the biggest birthday month in our family. Each one of us reflected on our accomplishments. When we have dinner together we ask the question, “What were your highlight and your downer today.” We have done this with our children and now our youngest son carries on the tradition. My grandson (8) says it is good to start with the good and there is always more good than bad. At the end of the day we should ask ourselves, “Do we want to save the changes we have discovered?” The older we get the more we know how little we know and understand. We learn a great deal from our children as we see how much they are like us. To age with dignity is to surrender and let go of our pride, our wounds, mistakes and failures of yesterday and forgive ourselves giving thanks for each year older. Our Heavenly Father gave us Jesus and many miracles in our lives. We have to recognize them and live close to the gift of Jesus in our lives. Getting old is a gift from God, the most glorious gift ever.
Pray for all clergy, seminarians and Pope Francis. Pray for the Youth of the world. Pray we are prepared to nurture and lead them in serving the Lord. Listen to their ideas and do not be afraid to let them lead. Pray this week for all anger in the world and for those who are without jobs. Pray for the Vincentian Family and its entire marvelous works. Amen.
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.
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