God’s Voice – Advent Week Three – Resisting Evil – Christmas in Poverty
Vincentian Day of Prayer and Fast – Tuesday December 16, 2014
Dear Vincentian Family: Keep our Lady in your hearts and pray often for everyone you encounter. I have told you in the past how to deal with too many prayers for others. So I repeat. Place each prayer in the palm of your hand and as you pray lift the palm to heaven, God knows all and He knows who we have placed in our palms even when we forget. (This idea came from a Vincentian, in Atlantic Canada). Pray always! Using your palm makes it easier. Always pray for those in need, those we serve, disasters and hardships around the world, especially the Philippines. Pray for priests, deacons, bishops, seminarians and all our young people who are searching. May you always feel the presence of Jesus.
God’s Voice – “If today you hear God’s voice harden not your hearts.” (Hebrews 3) God invites us to hear His voice. This impacts how we treat everyone in the church, our families and especially our Vincentian Family. God’s voice invites us to serve. God’s voice beacons us to join Him in giving goodness to others. Jesus gave us the prayer to the Father and it works every time for me. He gave us Jesus, the Holy Spirit, fellow Vincentians and those we serve. He is with us and leads us on the right path. Keep your heart full of love and listen to God’s voice as you serve Christ in all who have needs, especially those in poverty. God is the one who, as we pray in Psalm 34, hears the cry of the poor! God will give you the strength, courage, compassion, love and will help you. Listen to His voice and work together in service.
Advent Week Three – Waiting for Jesus the Light of the world is our Advent. His coming not as a baby, but preparing for Jesus in our hearts and lives and know His love. If we can teach our children this, we have given great tribute to our Lord. We light the pink Candle for Joy. We light the first and second candle as well for Hope and Love. Our youngest grandchildren (6&8) got to light the Advent Candle last Sunday and they felt so proud. They put into words for all the adults present including another grandchild celebrating her 18th birthday, what Jesus means to us every day. They told us He loved more than anyone, and He was born in a barn with the animals and that is why we should give to the poor. They led us in grace and ended with a prayer of hope for the homeless and those suffering from storms. Jesus loves the little children and we can learn from them every day.
Resisting Evil – Why is it so hard to resist the temptation of evil? Why do we covet what we do not possess? Why do we fight with the people we’re called to love? Why do we not see Jesus in all people? These are questions to ponder on. We all hurt at times, but it is how we handle the pain that sets us apart. We pray and repent and ask for forgiveness when we hurt others and we forgive those who have hurt us. Are there wounds in heaven? The answer is “Yes” and the wounds are those inflicted on Jesus for our Salvation. We are called to be “the servant of all”. (James 4:1-10) A true servant does not covet, rather they help to better others and rejoice in their good tidings. James says to us: “Purify your hearts, you of two minds.” We are of two minds because we resist giving Jesus our lives (our thoughts, our goals, our behaviors) totally. No matter how hard we try, we cannot completely belong to Jesus until we have given Jesus all of our wounds. In whatever way we are still unhealed, this is where we are vulnerable to evil and sin. Ask our Lord to heal you and see the difference it makes.
Christmas in Poverty – Our duty as Christians is to acknowledge poverty and be prepared to serve. Christianity is one religion that places upon us the obligation to care for the least of our sisters and brothers here on earth if we want to share the banquet the Lord of hosts has prepared in Heaven for those who believe. I know everyone reading this has a Christmas Story. This year as in the past few years, my son’s restaurant sponsors 10 Christmas Hampers costing $1,000.00 each. His staff donates their tips and customers also donate and often for some families it is more than a thousand. We usually try to find the neediest. This year they found us. We have families in poverty not expecting Christmas to be for them, they are in such great need. Seeing the poverty brings us to the reality of Christ in Christmas. These 10 families will experience gifts and gift cards and the love and joy that comes with it. He has done this in 3 cities in Canada (Calgary, Edmonton, & Vancouver) for a total of 30 families. His staff look forward to it each year and they shed tears and prayers for these special families. They have said to me, “This is the real Christmas!”
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.