Comforted by the Word– Spirit of God – Feeling Condemned- Unfinished Saints
Vincentian Day of Fast and Prayer – Tuesday November 25, 2014
Dear Vincentians: Feel God within us always. God, reveal to us all facets of your healing love and your will for our lives. Breathe through us, just for today. Let us feel your life-force within us. Amen. We are coming into Advent and want to be ready. Try not to get overwhelmed by the advertising. Put out your Advent Wreath, Advent calendar and slowly decorate. Pray when you do so and if you have little ones show them the symbolism of your family and culture. I always put a light in the window. My Irish custom of letting Jesus know there is room inside. Pray for our Vincentian Family and you God given family.
Comforted by the Word – Call to Conversion I like to be part of the challenge we all have from the gospels: to convert. As John the Baptist says, “To make straight the path.” There’s always an opportunity to straighten out the crooked path. The Word of God can transform your life. The word draws us more fully into the apostolic tradition. We embrace the sacramental Church and the incarnational Christ found most prominently in the Holy Eucharist. First at Mass, we have the Word. We listen and carry the Word in our heart. Read the Gospel and other readings for Sunday before you go to Mass. Choose a word or words that speak to you, especially in your Vincentian work. Pray on those words each day and know what God has in mind for you. Dive into your Bible and allow our Lord to transform your life. You will be comforted by the Word, if you open yourself up to it. Embrace the Word and let it embrace you.
Spirit of God – We are perfect disciples of Jesus when we live in His spirit, the Holy Spirit. We follow Jesus and serve with the help of the Spirit. St. Paul tells us we can live according to either the spirit of the flesh or the Holy Spirit. (Galatians: 5). We live in the spirit of the flesh when we live in anger, bitterness, and judgment of our neighbor, and non-forgiveness. When these things take control of our lives we shouldn’t fool ourselves and think that we are living inside of the Holy Spirit for we are on the outside, living in the spirit of the flesh. We are in the Spirit of Christ when we see Christ in others and we try to bring peace, joy and love. We do this with the gentle gift of service. Follow Jesus in serving others. See His face in them. This is a true gift of the Spirit and it can be in all of us. Pray for it every day. Visit the Blessed Sacrament and you will feel the Holy Spirit moving in you. Henry Ward Beecher once said, “Religion means work; it means hard work; it means work in a dirty world. The world has to be cleansed by somebody, and you are not really called of God unless you are prepared to scour and scrub. So put on your overalls and get to work!” The work is easy with the Spirit of God.
Feeling Condemned – The story is told of a young person, who, seeing all the suffering in the world, complains bitterly to God: “Even I could make a better world than this one.” God’s answer? “That is what you are supposed to be doing.”
Why do we have such a hard time admitting our own personal sins to others? Why is it so hard to apologize? Why do we resist going to Confession, even when we know it will provide us with grace to resist that sin in the future? Why aren’t we sharing with others our story of overcoming a personal sin as a testimony of Christian growth? Seek forgiveness and feel the healing uplift in your step and your attitude. Our judgement of others will cease and we will feel so good. Let God in and feel Holy, not condemned. There will be no room for shame, when we seek forgiveness and have God in us.
Unfinished Saints – You and I are unfinished saints and we are destined to get there. God is not giving up and He has plans for us. We are called to be saints and we are given the Holy Spirit to help us get there. Pray every day for holiness and that you are better today than yesterday. Forgive and be forgiven. As Vincentians we are brothers and sisters and our family is worldwide. Some days, I don’t feel like a saint, but then I remember Psalm 138:8 and realize, God has not given up on me and He is not finished with me yet. Reading the Psalms can lift you up on your worst day ever and knowing we truly are destined to get there with God’s help. His love and forgiveness is always there and we can start over when we take a side step. This is how great God’s love is. We plan our lives around the Good Samaritan and stories of Jesus not criticizing sinners. We have to admit we are sinners and we are saints in training.
Tags: Calgary, Canada, L'Heureux, Society of St. Vincent de Paul, SVDP