Vincentian Day of Prayer and Fast Tuesday February 24, 2015
Change of Heart – Walk in the Desert – Return to Me – Intimate Love
Dear Vincentian Family: Now is our journey as a disciple of Christ. accept our crosses as Jesus has. Pick up your cross and walk with Him. Our journey is through Lent to Easter and then to Pentecost. We are challenged to love God, love our neighbour and love ourselves. If we pray always we will be with our Lord always. The best fast is from our tongue. I’ve shared before I pray for my tongue every day. The fruit of Lent is closeness to God as our heart becomes clean and is given over to Him. Pray for our clergy, our Vincentian Family and those we serve. AMEN! Blessings, Lynn
Change of Heart – “Create in me a clean heart.” (Ps. 51:10) Recapture your heart for Jesus. Lent is a new spring. It is an invitation to return to the Lord and begin a new relationship with Him. In Lent we look at Jesus, listen to Jesus and follow Him to Calvary where He lays down His life for us. In this journey we fast, pray, listen to His word and shape our lives to His. We begin this journey by anointing ourselves with ashes as a sign of repentance, turning away from our old life and beginning our new life in Christ. We re-live our Baptism and acknowledge we are sinners. If we do not accept we are sinners we cannot create a clean heart. We must reconcile and Lent is a good time to do so. Let God change our hearts and let Him live in us always.
Walk in the Desert – Be joyful, and you will spread joy. Be joyful about your faith, and your Catholic faith will catch fire in the lives of those you evangelize. On your journey through the desert, take along our Lord and all those we serve. “Today find 10 minutes — 15 at the most — and read the Gospel, imagine the scene and say something to Jesus. Your knowledge of Jesus will increase and your hope will grow,” the pope said Feb. 3 at the Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae where he lives. Your journey in the desert should be prayer filled and when reading Scripture, paint a picture in your mind of the words you read and put yourself in the story, by replacing the name or names with you. Scripture is as relevant today as it was in the day and maybe more so. Make your journey a time for you and God. See how Jesus suffered in the desert. He did this for us. Continue to live for Him and prepare yourself every day.
Return to Me – Lord, help me to forgive! Walking away from conflict is not giving up. It is forgiveness. When we forgive, we return to Jesus. Look deeply into your heart and embed God in it, so we can always return when we stray. Keep our Lord close, because we cannot do it alone. We must listen to our heart and know the difference between our words and the words of God. Our heart can be deceiving and we must listen carefully to God’s voice in our heart. “Even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart” (Joel 2:12). This change in us will be good for all around us and we should especially bring our new love to those we serve. We will look at others without judgement, but with a smile and love to bring hope and dignity. Yes, returning to our Lord completely is life changing, for ourselves and others. We know we are surrounded with evil and so we must always return to the Lord. Keep our eyes on Him. As we choose to be His disciple we pick up our cross and return to Him; we follow Him on His journey to Easter and Pentecost.
Intimate Love – Only sinners have the patience to listen to the stories Jesus tells. The self-righteous hear them but don’t listen. Hearing happens when the ears and the brain team up, but listening happens with the ears of the heart. Spend time to remember and appreciate the people in your life who, despite it all, kept you hopeful as you encountered situations of evil, suffering, and sadness. See, too, the love and grace that touches all our lives in these situations. God is love and everlasting love of friendship, forgiveness, salvation, peace and presence. You do not see with your eyes. This love is mmm… so intimate and always present. Look for it in your quiet time and see it in your heart. It never leaves. Giving ourselves and our prayers to Jesus is our intimate love. Remember not to give Him your leftovers. Take the time – make the time to pray intimately to Him and feel the love. We are sinners, so we must take the time to listen in prayer. In our intimacy, we reconcile and ask forgiveness of our sins and we are loved so much with intimacy our sins are always forgiven. No greater love. Feel it. Spread it. Intimate love of Jesus, is so beautiful!
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.