Meditate on Joy each Day – Saints and Sinners – Spiritual Battle – Liven Your Faith
Vincentian Day of Prayer and Fast – Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Dear Vincentian Family: We have so much to be thankful for and so many to pray for. Look at each day and think of a way to improve your life and more importantly to improve the life of someone else. It is even better if it is done in secret. The easiest and least expensive gift to a person, any person is a smile. A smile can make a down day feel good. And when you smile at someone, have you noticed they have to smile back. Keep a smile on your face. It is a true gift of God. Pray for peace everywhere and let it begin with each of us. Pray for all in our family, priests, bishops, seminarians and dear Pope Francis.
Meditate on Joy Each Day – We often do not think of joy or the joy of joy. When we pray for Joy and meditate on it each day, it becomes a part of our life. We could have heavy burdens, especially in these times. We may be smothered in debt, caught in the rat race and feel alone and buried by our burdens and this keeps us from joy and enjoying life. Let’s love God wholeheartedly and love and care for our families in ways that provide an example to those around us. We should strive always to deepen our love for the Church and look for ways to serve. Loving our neighbor means doing anything we can to help those we encounter on life’s journey. Joy is not your social life and you can’t crank joy up now. Joy is coming home from work and walking up your walk, taking a breath and knowing your family is beyond the doors. And you breathe and say, “God life is good!” That is joy. When you feel most driven to say something, don’t say it. Even if you delay for seconds, the impulse to verbally blast will recede fast—if not every time then enough of the time to avoid heavy fallout in relationships. Say a prayer and follow His lead in whatever plans He has for you. Ask Him each day to lead you and follow His will. Joy will not be far behind. The easiest thing to be in the world is you. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be. Unless it is God’s will. Certain things catch your eye, but pursue only those that capture the heart. Share the joy with those God places before you.
Saints and Sinners! – Why worry excessively about what came before? Why obsess over your past sins? God is much more interested in your future than in your past. We have a God who “makes all things new.” And in that we find hope. One of my favorite sayings is: “Saints are the sinners who keep on trying.” I first heard my Granny tell me this. She was the queen of quotes and had one for every occasion. I am thankful God had me in her life, she was my saint. What is truly hard about some Christians is they judge and make mistakes into huge tragedies. We are often painted by our path in the past. I always think of the women in the Bible Jesus spoke to and made examples of. One of course is the adulteress as Jesus waited for those without sin, throw the first stone. No one threw a stone. My favorite is the woman at the well. She said He knew me and everything about me. He did not judge or condemn her. She left her water jug behind and to me those were her sins, unidentified and forgiven. Let go of your past, it is a terrible prison sometimes and God has forgiven us over and over. Many of us avoid confession. It is a beautiful sacrament. What you need to know always, is the way out of the misery; a path which leads us from the desert and takes away our misery and this forgiving mercy is always with us. Reach out and ask Jesus – He is our Healer, our merciful saviour. Forgiveness is always there. When you serve those in need always remember and do not judge.
Spiritual Battle – There is a spiritual battle going on all around us. The best way to fight it is on our knees in prayer. As you pray the Our Father, take some time with the last line of the prayer, “Deliver us from evil.” Thank God that He has already won the victory over the devil. Pray in silence and listen to His voice. When you are facing something which overwhelms you and has really weighed you down, hand it to our Lord. In your solitude tell Him your sorrows and know He has taken it onto His cross. Ask our Lord to increase your faith and remember, faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains. When you listen, you will hear His message, harden not your hearts. Instead open them and embrace His plan. Learn from yesterday, but live for today. Smile in the moment and love every day. Give hope to others for tomorrow and dream forever. You will win the Spiritual battle and be so present to all those you are around. You are God’s servant.
Faith Alive – Faith is more than staring at the heavens hoping God exists. True faith moves you…it calls you to worship. Jesus is always fulfilling the Father’s plans for us — plans for our good, a loving plan. It’s impossible for Him to do otherwise! To contemplate Christ involves being able to recognize Him wherever He manifests himself. Faith is a virtue. Virtues are like spiritual muscles: The more we work them, the stronger they get. We must always seek an active faith—one that is active in learning and active in living. The Will of God never takes you to where the Grace of God will not protect you. We don’t change the message, the message changes us. Keep your faith alive and everyone will benefit. You will be blessed and this will bless others, especially those we serve.