TLC – Our Best Friend – Turn the Other Cheek – The Last Shall Be First
Vincentian Day of Fast and Prayer Tuesday September 23, 2014
Dear brothers and sisters: You are the servants and are pleasing to Christ. Keep each other in your prayers. Of course remember all those we serve. Ask God to bless them and let them feel the joy of His blessings. I ask you also to remember all clergy, our Blessed Father, seminarians and our precious youth. Make your prayers often and sincere. Sincerity is what truly lays bare the heart, and genuinely speaks for the soul. Sincerity is always good, but no more than in our prayers. When we praise God and give Him thanks a special feeling comes over us, our families are blessed and our Lord is happy with us. We must pray for those in need often and especially now for terrorism – the victims and the terrorists. Lord, touch the hearts and heal the wounded. Amen!
TLC – I know you are thinking Tender Loving Care and it is true, but the TLC taken from Deacon Art’s homily is: Trust, Love, Commitment. This in a nutshell describes Vincentians. We first must have the trust of God and trust in His will. Second we must love as God loves, learn from the love Jesus shows us and love those we serve in God’s way and through His eyes, into His eyes. Third is Commitment to our service and to prayer because commitment to God gets us through the toughest visits. Once we place our Trust, Love, and Commitment in God, the Trinity will see us through to help us lift those we serve out of poverty. We must do more than provide Band-Aids to those in need. Our role is to help them be lifted from their circumstances. We need TLC both kinds to teach them to fish and sometimes that takes more time. God is always with us and we pray on each step of the way. We pray for intervention from Ozanam, Rosalie and all the saints, we are always protected with TLC and prayer.
Our Best Friend – God loves us always. He loves it when we imitate His Son. True happiness comes from our relationship with God. It makes all our other relationships work. When we do His will and spend time hanging out with Him, we see our life changing. We cannot be holy just during our prayer hour at Church, it continues always. I just love the beatitudes; they are the reality of who we are as Vincentians. When teaching the youth one day on the beatitudes we focused on living the beatitudes and they made beautiful skits on how we should live in the beatitudes. We decided on that day we all had to BE ATTITUDE and that meant change, live as Jesus call us to do. On that day we taught each other how to be Christ to one another. We had a clothing drive at the end of our meeting and we collected many things the young people were no longer using to give to other youth. One boy, who by the way did not always support or agree with our lessons, stood up and stripped the new clothes he was wearing and exchanged them for some old ones he was giving. No words were needed. He was living the Gospel. God loves us always.
Turn the Other Cheek – No matter how the world treats us we are assured God is always there and loves us always. He is our source of love and pure joy. He places those before us to give us joy through Him and He places those before us who need joy through Him. Jesus said to his disciples: “To you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” (Luke 6: 27). Go one step further in treating others as you would like to be treated. Pray for their needs. My grandmother used to tell me when I really wanted something to pray others would have it, especially those I was angry with. It never made sense to me, but I loved her so much and she was right. Meet God’s challenges for us to judge with love, mercy and forgiveness.
The Last Shall Be First – (Matthew 20: 1-16) We don’t have to understand God’s ways, we only have to be greatful. God gives us the same amount of love that He gives to the holiest of saints. Those we serve may argue with us and say, “God is not fair”! We sometimes think so ourselves when we are ill or when a family member is ill. Think of how many times you felt that way and look at those in need with different eyes. Some things are not fair and we can read this in the Gospel and we can see it in our service. We have to give more attention to the least because they need it more. We are tending to Jesus and we need to tend lovingly. Sometimes we have to be tough as in the Gospel, but our toughness is love which will help to at least lift them to a fuller life. Don’t leave them by the wayside, keep trying and know each one is loved as much as you are. We are called to treat everyone with Christian charity remembering Our Redeemer, who gave His all on the cross, for all of us and he forgave those who crucified Him.
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.