Igniting the Fire of Service – Children of God – On level ground – Burning Love
Vincentian Day of Prayer and Fast Tuesday September 16, 2014
Dear Vincentian Family: Keep your hearts pure, pray for each other always. We remembered last week 9-11. Around the world people prayed and mourned with Americans on the devastating terror of the attack on the World Trade Centre. I just heard a story from a local Franciscan Priest, Fr. Bob, who talked about his cousin who was chaplain of the NY Fire Dept. He was administering last rites to a fallen fire fighter when the third building collapsed. Fr. Bob recalled his cousin was doing God’s will until death. Many families from around the world suffered from the attack. He asked us to remember to pray for those who assault innocent people and in acts of terrorism around the world. They need God’s love to guide them. Pray for our clergy, Pope Francis, religious, seminarians and everyone responding to God’s call. May you always feel the warmth of God’s love and give the warmth to others. Amen!
Igniting the Fire of Service – This was the title of a ministry retreat I attended this week. We sometimes wonder who we are and look for this in many places. The best place to find out who you are is Scripture. Most of us think Scriptures tells us what to do, but it really tells us who we are. We are children of God. We are beloved and we are blessed. We are beautiful, unique, one of a kind; we are made to be beautiful, loved and unique. Knowing who we are tells us what to do. This is where we find the fire – how we ignite the flame of service. Scripture is a description of who we are and what we look like. We are honest, faithful, loving compassionate. What does all this mean? We are people of faith. We are the faithful. Jesus gave us one commandment, “Love one another as I have loved you.” Therefore as people of faith, we see Christ in others. We bring the qualities of Faith to others and ignite the fire of service. We are not born with grace and faith; it is a gift from God. Stand before the living God and ask Him to help us set the world on fire by acts of loving service.
Children of God – Jesus assures us in John 14, not to fear or have trouble hearts. He gives us peace. This is a special peace only Jesus can give. It is the real thing. Jesus says, “Not as the world gives peace do I give you peace.” His peace incudes the Holy Spirit, and the love of the Father, a love like no other, a love the world cannot give. When Jesus seems to have gone, we have the Holy Spirit. You are never abandoned. We are guided and comforted by the Spirit and He will do the Fathers will for each of us, God’s beloved children.
On Level Ground – Most of Jesus’ preaching was on a mountain top especially in Matthew when we hear the beatitudes, but in Luke He is on level ground. It was thought that climbing the mountain brought you close to God. I can understand that living in Calgary and seeing the majesty of the mountains each day. It truly calls you to pray. I think Luke wanted us to realize that Jesus is also on flat level ground and His love and teachings are as great in whatever place we are. Jesus is the flesh, the living body of God’s wonderful love. Jesus is the good Shepherd, tending his flock, the suffering servant, the faithful one. Jesus is the promise strength that keeps our faith alive and our service to others strong. Measure our values in God’s eyes, not in worldly treasures. Serve the poor with callouses on our hands and love in our hearts. Remember Jesus came to serve, not be served. He will keep us on level ground in our service to others.
Burning Love – Lord Jesus Christ, place a burning love for you in our hearts. Let that express itself in a Holy Spirit-enflamed passion that yields service to people’s spiritual and bodily needs. . Jesus promises us two things, 1. Our life has meaning and 2. We will live forever. There is nothing better than knowing we are loved by God. We are all on of a kind in the eyes of God. We are His children. Always keep our eyes on Jesus and feel the love. We are the Road Map leading others to Christ. Jesus burning love is Divine love and we are entrusted with it to bring it to others. We are given the love freely and called to serve. We serve Christ in those who suffer and all He stands for and we bring the burning love of Christ.
May your week be filled with surprises, love, unexpected joys and faith. Tomorrow, I have cataract surgery. I am so looking forward to seeing all the small things I have been missing, especially reading my bible. I do read on line, but it is nice to hold the Word and ponder.
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.