Fire of Love – Pilgrims on Earth – Open Wide the Doors to Christ – Vincentian Servanthood
Vincentian Day of Prayer and Fast Tuesday November 4, 2014
Dear Vincentian family: We get very busy as November approaches readying ourselves to share Christmas with those in need. I pray for the many companies who give to those in need. I take this moment to pray for my son’s businesses in three cities who along with his will be giving $30,000.00 for Christmas Hampers for Society of Saint Vincent de Paul. Pardon my brag, but I am a mother first. I also pray for another anonymous business man who opens his Ranch to hundreds of children in need, feeding them, giving them a party with gifts, fun, clowns and activities. People are good and we pray for the goodness in others. Amen
Fire of Love – All Souls Day – Do you ever wonder about heaven? Will I get there? What is it like? We all have answers to those questions and we have our ideals. I remember serving a large dinner to the homeless and being in charge I was a little bossy. I was getting servers to clear tables and seat people quickly. This was a special Sunday dinner and we invited our friends, the homeless and poor. I really wanted it to be perfect. One of the guests came to me and asked if I was paid. My response was, “No my reward is in heaven to sit in a layback chair and have all those I have served on earth serve me.” He looked at me deeply and said, “Lady, my view of heaven is different than yours. When I get there we will be equals.” I’ve never forgotten. God the father has given you to Jesus so He can lead you to heaven. “For this is the will of my Father. Everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have eternal life, and I shall raise Him on the last day.”(John 6:40)
Pilgrims on Earth – What is heaven like? It’s more than we can imagine—beyond our most extravagant hopes. At the heart is God who is total goodness and love. We are face-to-face with God, “abiding” in His love. Heaven gives us the joy of meeting and living with the Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, St. Paul, St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi, and St. Elizabeth Seton. “Eternal life consists in the joyous community of all the blessed,” St. Thomas of Aquinas wrote, “a community of supreme delight, since everyone will share all that is good with all the blessed. Everyone will love everyone else as themselves, and they will rejoice in another’s good as their own.” Our beloved St. Vincent, Blessed Frederic Ozanam, St. Louise de Marillac, & Blessed Rosalie Rendu, were our pilgrims on earth. Talk to them often, they continue to serve and look down on us pouring out blessings for our work.
“Open wide the doors to Christ,” urged John Paul II during the homily at the Mass when he was installed as pope in 1978. He truly was a beloved Pope, teaching us many things. He attended all four sessions of Vatican II and contributed especially to its Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World. Appointed as archbishop of Kraków in 1964, he was named a cardinal three years later. Elected pope in October 1978, he took the name of his short-lived, immediate predecessor. Pope John Paul II was the first non-Italian pope in 455 years. In time, he made pastoral visits to 124 countries, including several with small Christian populations. He improved Catholic-Muslim relations and visited a mosque. The Great Jubilee (2000) was marked by many ecumenical celebrations. “Christ is the center of the universe and of human history” was the opening line of his 1979 encyclical, Redeemer of the Human Race. He described himself as a “witness of hope”. He began world youth day and travel to many countries. We can be certain St. John Paul 11 is standing looking down on us and blessing us.
Vincentian Servant hood – There is always a way to serve God. When we feel lonely, sad and confused, it is a sign for us to make change and do something in our lives. Instead of grumbling, make changes in your life. When you feel irritated over everything, you can bet there is a message from God to help you change and do some good. This is grace. Turn to him and say, “Hear I am Lord, use me?” Sitting before the Blessed Sacrament is a great place to discern. Ask our Lord for help and guidance. You will leave feeling uplifted and have a true sense of direction. Being a Vincentian is a true gift to us as Christian servants. We cannot be a Sunday Catholic and someone else during the week. Answer the call and let our Lord drive you in the direction of peace, happiness and contentment. Serving is a gift and as Vincentians we use the gift to help make a better place for others.
Pray for each other, our clergy and Pope and remember our seminarians, those suffering and those we serve.