Why Tuesday? – Easter People – Lent Begins with Ashes – Celebrate Family
Vincentian Day of Prayer and Fast – Tuesday February 17, 2015
Why Tuesday? – Why pray and fast on Tuesday? It was a challenge to me as a Vincentian to do more than serve in SSVP and feel good about doing it. We the baptized are authentic followers of Jesus if we, in imitation of Him, are God’s humble and suffering servants. It is also important to know we are not alone. As Vincentians we follow Jesus’ example. We are in the Vincentian family not as an accident. We must continue praying for our work which is God’s work and pray always. We are God’s chosen and we are sent to serve and evangelize the poor. . We go to the door of those in poverty, the dejected, the imprisoned, addicted and all those without hope. No act of charity is foreign. We bring the joy and hope with us and serve humbly to lift them from their poverty. We cannot be successful without prayer and fasting. Or as St. Vincent de Paul instructs us, regarding the poor, our mission is to preach the Gospel to them, to comfort them, to remedy their spiritual and temporal needs, to assist them ourselves in every way and have others assist them likewise (XII:87). We cannot do this alone; we need the guidance through our prayer and fasting. O God, make all the baptized become like Christ and be humble and suffering servants for those in poverty. Amen!
Easter People -We are Easter people; we pray, reflect, fast, sacrifice, commit and serve. This is the reason for our Tuesday Prayer and Fast reflections. It is easier to choose a day and know we are not doing this for ourselves but for God and those He places before us. We pray for holiness, service and commitment to those in poverty and we pray for the guidance from the Trinity. We strive to serve Christ in all who suffer. We live this each day, it is not temporary. It is forever. The credit for our service does not belong to us, but to Our Lord. We do His will! The good thing we do in this is to say, “Yes”, the balance of the glory belongs to Him. Keep your eyes on the Cross – He died for me, He died for you. Even if we were the only ones on earth He would have died for us and He calls us to serve. We need to pray, to reflect and sacrifice to commit to our calling to serve with justice, peace, joy and hope. We pray for this always and keep our focus on God.
Lent Begins with Ashes – We receive God’s life in God’s time. We learn each day from Scripture how to live our life. God does not live by the clock. God chose to reveal Himself to us through the Son in His time. We live to be freed from sin. It is not a one shot deal, it is ongoing. We were given these 40 days of Lent beginning with ashes to remind us to dust we will return and, we need to live within time, trusting that sin can be rooted out of us if we are open to God’s work in us. When we fail (which we will), we need to remember that God will save us from ourselves in God’s time. I like to think of Lent as our personal ‘Garage Sale”. It is time to get rid of the junk in our trunk. Use this time to become a better servant. We often want to give up food and things and most of the time it is to lose weight or become healthy. What we really need to give up is some of our attitude and to love more. Give up things to bring us closer to God and make the Sacrifices in Lent journeys of love and praise for God. Give up what keeps us from Him.
Celebrate Family – Family begins with marriage. February 7 – 14 is National Marriage Week. We also celebrate Family Day on February 16 in my Province. Everyone gets a holiday to be with family. In our parish we had a date night on Feb. 7 with mass, renewal of vows, and a social. It is very popular. For married couples do something special in this week and renew our commitment to one another and give each other a blessing. As married couples we are a symbol and example to our children and our grandchildren. The best compliments Tony and I have ever received, is when the children say, they want their marriage to be like ours. Our theme is Forever and a Day. Now recently our granddaughter just got engaged. She asked me to give her advice as she wants her marriage to be long and loving like ours. This often makes Tony and I chuckle as we know we are not perfect – we just keep on going and God is with us. He is the third person in our marriage. So, we celebrate family and praise God for the beauty of our family. He has given us a great gift. Yes it is a roller coaster, but we manage to stay on the track. Thanks be to God. Celebrate Family always. Celebrate our Vincentian Family. Give the families we serve hope, dignity and joy.
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.