Lynn L’Heureux offers her weekly reflection on Narrow Path – Open Hands and Hearts – Look Forward – Facing the Storm
Vincentian Day of Prayer and Fast July 7, 2015
Dear Vincentian Family: You inspire me and we inspire each other. We are so blessed to have such a family. We learn so much from each other and have the same goal. I just spent a wonderful week with my Canadian Vincentian Family and learned so much and always felt the love. Every hug is a reassurance for us to keep going and we do. Thanks be to God for our Vincentian Family. : God of all, speak through our lives. Give us the courage to be witnesses to your grace even in circles where you have been long abandoned. Help us bear witness to your faithful and eternal desire to bring us all home to you. Help us to love more and thanks for our Vincentian Family. Amen!
The Narrow Path – Holiness is a steep, jagged, and narrow path. Worldliness is subtle, smooth, and wide. For which do I hope and seek each day? Often when we pray “deliver us from evil” during the Lord’s Prayer, we are thinking of the evil “out there” in the world when, in reality, we should also be considering the evil inclinations that come from within us (Mark 7:21). We reflect and choose the narrow path of holiness, goodness and presence to those in need. Some days are just bad days. You have to experience sadness to know happiness, and I remind myself that not every day is going to be a good day, that’s just the way it is! Bad things happen and God is always there to turn the bad into good. Keep choosing our Lord, it is the right path and it leads to all in need. He gives us the strength and passion to serve.
Open Hands and Open Hearts – Being present to each other is so necessary. In today’s world we have too many distractions. The cell phone is both an amazing invention and a devilish distraction. You can write love notes to your spouse and children, which are cute; however they will never replace cuddling and being present. We have Sunday dinner with the family each week, cell phones are discouraged before dinner conversations and it doesn’t always work. Now and then there is a great burst of laughter and cell phones then are passed around to share. I encourage all avid cell phone users to put it down and spend real time with your love ones. There is nothing like a warm hug instead of the symbol and a beautiful smile which is the gift of God, not the smiley face. I honestly believe, your smile is an instant prayer to others. It could change someone’s world today! Put the cell phone down and smile at a stranger the clerk serving you and your family. Keep the Vincentian Heart alive. I rarely see cell phones at SSVP meetings, but of course we need them for emergencies. Make sure your phone is off on home visits or they will not receive the full love of God you bring to their home. Let your hands and hearts be open to those in need and close the cell phone. It is only when we truly receive with open hands and open heart that we then give to others who are in need with open heart and open hands. We cannot give what we have not received.
Look Forward – Beware of Satan trying to make you look back on your past mistakes. He has too much time on his hands. Much of Satan’s time is spent trying to make you remember what God has already forgotten. Reconcile, rejoice, and look forward. God is always there and He forgives and forgets. Live your life in His embrace. You will not go wrong with the love of God in your pocket and heart. He never abandons us. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are with us always. Call on the Trinity when going to serve. Call on the Trinity always so we may be happiness to others in our parish, family and service. Sometimes we are the only God others see. We are to be signs of life, even to those who reject us. Self-righteous rejection of those who reject us simply isn’t an option, if we desire to follow Jesus. Be Gospel to others and always look forward – it is the right direction.
Facing the Storm – “You see a great deal of distress that you are unable to relieve. God sees it also. Bear the pains of the poor together with them, doing all you can to give them whatever help they need, and remain in peace.” – St. Vincent de Paul. Lord, when I feel overwhelmed by the distress I am unable to relieve, help me to feel your presence and realize You are well aware of all those needs and provide me with the direction I need. Help me to always feel the Holy Spirit who is truly our helper in serving all you place before us. God mounts His throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord. Psalm 47:6 God has set aside the kingdom of God for the childlike—for those who are loving enough to trust and obey Him and humble enough to depend on Him. The Creator of all creation is totally perfect and totally holy. Taking His name in vain doesn’t make God any less holy, but it does make His name less holy in the eyes of the world. Praise Him always and any storm you will face will feel like a summer breeze. We never face the storms alone. We have the Trinity directing, guiding and journeying with us. Our God is a good and loving God. Talk to Him often.
Lynn L’Heureux is Special needs co-coordinator & Advisor of the Society of St Vincent de Paul Calgary Alberta Canada.