Divine Love – Learning from Mistakes – Live with Peace – Feeling Good
Vincentian Day of Prayer and Fast Tuesday April 21, 2015
Greetings: Happy Easter. Christ is Risen! Alleluia! On April 17, the Church in Canada celebrated the life and witness of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, “the first native North American to be raised to the glory of the altars”. She was canonized by Benedict XVI on October 21, 2012, in Rome. Look up her story, she was an amazing woman. I had the privilege of naming a Catholic school in Calgary and cutting the ribbon at the school named after her. She has always fascinated me. One of my dear friends, who passed on, painted a picture for me to present at the school. We are still full steam on praying for peace and especially taking some silent time to really focus and listen to our Lord. Where I am in Canada our economy has plummeted and our needs in service are very high. They have increased over 30% and the donations have also gone down. We all need to pray and BELIEVE.
Divine Love – Divine love is a love that operates in a quite unqualified way, without making distinctions between persons and seemingly without such a thing as personal preference. Anyone who receives divine love feels like God’s favorite in that minute! They look at others with the eyes of God and love everyone. They do not judge. Wow! We’re called to be witnesses, not lawyers or judges. God Himself doesn’t propose to judge a man until he is dead. So why should we? I guess the answer is along with Divine Love we are given free will. Love in the Ordinary while important is not about doing the odd good deed, but to do everyday tasks with great love for God and neighbor. Let the focus be on Him, not us.
Learning from Mistakes – Guilt tells us the truth about ourselves and invites us to grow from it; shame lies to us and paralyzes our growth. We can be our worse enemies. We must not condemn ourselves. When we are wrong, blessed are the meek. Our tool to right ourselves is forgiveness. The big thing is to forgive ourselves. We have to look in the mirror and see Christ in our face, His beautiful creation and say, “I messed up” and start over again. Remember it won’t be the first time. This is not just for you. Know, the harder we are on ourselves the harder we are on others. We need to serve others wearing the Gospel. Learn from Pope Francis and those before him and so many saints, especially those in the Vincentian family. Love others as you love Christ and chances are mistakes will be made. Recognize them, forgive yourself and start over again with the love and joy of Christ. You are a wonderful creation. Shame has no place in God’s wonderful creation.
Live with Peace – Christ is Risen Alleluia! Easter lives on. May the joy and the love of the risen Jesus be always with you, in you, and among you so that you become the true witnesses of the Father’s love for the world. Let us also love God so much that we give ourselves to Him in each other and in the poor. Living in peace is living in joy. Accept people as they are and always treat others with dignity. One of Pope Francis tips for happiness and it could also be for peace is, “Live and let live.” Generosity grows from love. The more we love someone, the more we want to be generous with them. Generosity harbours love and peace. Pope Francis in his happiness tip #10 tells us to, “Work for peace. We are living in a time of many wars,” he said. “The call for peace must be shouted.” However, in our prayers and silent minute for peace we can ask Jesus for help and seek His guidance in our lives, and then we can listen for His wise and gentle voice. We’re not supposed to do all the talking; we have to really listen for the still, small voice so we can discern what He might be asking of us. Pray for peace, smile for peace and live in peace.
Feeling Good – There is a story told of a 19th century city worker, who worked at night as a lamp-lighter. In those olden days, lamp-lighters would go from light-to-light-to-light to turn on the street lights by literally turning on the gas and igniting the flames in each of the lamps in the street. At the end of the night, it was their job to extinguish the gaslights. This worker was asked by a reporter, “Don’t you find your job difficult in the middle of the dark of the night that you have to go out when it is cold and damp?” The old man said, “No. No. There is always a light in front of me that I must move to-to extinguish.” The reporter replied back, tersely saying “What about the last light? When you put out the last light then what?” The old man smiled and said, “Ahhh, but then the dawn appears. Then the dawn appears.” This is what we lived at the Easter Vigil and I don’t know about you, but I am still feeling good about moving from darkness into light. Let us show this light to all we serve. “If you do a good job for others, you heal yourself at the same time, because a dose of joy is a spiritual cure . It transcends all barriers.” ~ Ed Sullivan