Cherish Memories – Embrace Christmas – Handmade of the Lord – A New Year
Vincentian Day of Prayer and Fast Tuesday December 30, 2014
Dear Vincentian Family: I pray your Christmas Celebration was filled with joy. We are called to live the joy in our loves. The way to do this is to pray often. Ask for the Spirit to guide you. We live in the Eucharist and joy of the Gospels by sharing the good news to others through our actions. A quick smile may change lives and of course forgiveness not only changes the other person, but us as well. We have learned to love through Christ and we love those we serve, complete strangers, we love Jesus in them. We give others tenderness, gentleness and understanding. Not everyone is like us but they are all created in God’s image. Live the joy of Christ all year by practising our Joy and giving it to others. Amen.
Cherish Christmas – We are still in the Christmas Season and I pray you embraced each miracle and magic moment and have stored them in your heart. Our hope is fulfilled! Sometimes we wonder why are we here? Is there more to what I am doing? We look up to God and know we have hope. We have hope because God has become one with us. Without Him, we become lost. He is the way. We know we are loved so much because He gave us His son, Jesus whose birthday we celebrated at Christmas and continue our celebration of Epiphany and the Octave until January 11, 2015. Sometimes we go through tragic times and we cling to our hope. Sometimes good things fall apart, so better things can fall together. Share this hope and joy with others. Other people see only a hopeless end, but the Christian rejoices in an endless hope. Be a joyful disciple of Jesus as it is the hope of the world.
Embrace Christmas – I hope you are continuing to feel the deep joy of Jesus’ presence. I also pray that you allow that joy to stay with you for many days! Even after the Epiphany Octave. Try to keep it always and share it with your families, those we serve and those we serve with, the entire Vincentian Family. God loves others through us. The glow of your faith and love in Christ shines forth and illuminates the faith of others. For me the embracing starts in Bethlehem. . St. Ignatius of Loyola suggests imagining yourself as a participant in the story. Taking off my shoes—it’s a holy place—I slip into the corner of the stable. Mary is shivering from the cold, but clutching Jesus close to keep him warm. Joseph is there, attentive to Mary’s every need. This tiny baby, powerless, totally dependent on Mary and Joseph, is also God. God became human—not as an emperor or a scholar—but as a baby in a dirty, smelly stable, in complete poverty. From my corner of the stable, I can only be silent in amazement and marvel at the teenage virgin. My heart swells with the shear awesomeness of the great event. Alleluia Christ is born!
Handmaid of the Lord – “I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done unto me according to your word.” That is why it is held up before us. Sometimes in life when we try to let go of something and leave it to God, we do feel a bit like Mary. Our life has been turned upside down, and inside out. It does not always feel so good but yet we know that when we let go and allow God to operate in our lives it is magical, not magical in the sense of magic, but it is brilliant; it is awesome. In the end, God calls every single one of us not just those who have gifts; not just those who have ability but he calls all who are willing. “God doesn’t call the gifted; he gifts the called.” He gifts all as necessary. In that sense, we could say that it is not about ability as much as it is about availability. Are we making ourselves available to God? Let your will be done in my life, Lord.
A New Year – I resolve to: Keep the joy of Christ alive in my family and work; invite God into my life; let His will be done, focus on being Christ filled, patient and a person of forgiveness. Keep Joy to the world year round. I resolve to treat every day as a gift and open it with joy, thanking God for each day, for the gift of Jesus and for me to surrender with gratitude. Happy New Year!
Pray always and especially those in poverty and need, prisoners, the lonely, the sick and our families, especially young people.
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.