Gospel of Life – Abundant Life – Learn Something Each Day
Vincentian Day of Prayer and Fast –Tuesday July 14, 2015
Dear Family: We pray and ask the Lord to help us be willing to be His loving witnesses to others, many of whom have rebelled against God. We pray to always have the strength and desire to serve Him well. Pray for each other, those we serve, our clergy and those in consecrated life, our seminarians and especially Pope Francis. Smile often and say thank you many times through the day. You are all in my daily prayers. Blessings, Lynn
Gospel of Life – “I came that they might have life, and have it abundantly.” ~John 10:10b Jesus reminds us He came so we might have life, He does so in the context of laying down His own life for our sake. We serve and give ourselves to others, defending them and sometimes this can cause division, fear of judgment. Yet Jesus continues to offer abundant life to all, and invites us to be one with Him in receiving, protecting and nurturing life. We should not worry about where things are coming from when we serve our friends in need. Seek the way from our Lord. Proclaiming the “Gospel of Life” by our actions and living the Good News is to be imbedded in our service and life. We need to take the challenge to include more prayer for our Lord to help us. We are doing His work and His will be done. When we pray and fast and live the Gospel in our daily life, we become the Gospel of Life and will be filled with joy to give to others. Each Vincentian, ordained and lay are called to be open to the needs of others and to form a kind relationship to bring healing and joy. You will find this to be truly life giving, to yourself, the family and to those we serve. I encourage you to read and reflect on the “Joy of the Gospel – group reading guide based on Pope Francis’ Evangelii Gaudium by Bill Huebsch. I would also challenge you to pause, right now and let God touch your heart. This is joy and pure love.
Abundant Life – Abundant life in Jesus exists in all circumstances. Abundant life is not how rich we are, or how many things we accumulate in life. Our richness is in being faithful to our many blessings and the grace we are given in all circumstances. We don’t have to be rich with cultural materialism, Christians can know abundance of life and grace in all circumstances, but that does not mean we will be rich, healthy, accepted, loved or materially well-off. It means we will redefine our identity as the adopted children of God, called from and to unlikely places, to serve and love those in poverty. We go to visit prisoners, addicts, abused women and families. We often walk into homes which are very unkempt. We are sometimes lied to and yes people sometimes want more and will lie to get it. We have to try to feel the pain of their hunger and hurts. We must try to approach visits with a spiritual focus and practice. Grace transforms every ordinary moment into an extraordinary opportunity for growth, transformation, and love. This is abundant life – never to be abandoned in our suffering, to be satisfied with what we have, not to doubt our worth. What has God provided in this moment? He shows us the way and never abandons us and He helps us to see where we were blind. He has given us eyes of love and joy, to serve and do what we have to do. He is always there and loves us always.
Praise God Always – We are invited to praise God, even in our times of suffering. In our own chapters of life, tribulation will come, but so will endurance, grace, and blessings. God doesn’t just “have a plan” for our salvation—He became the plan (Phil 2:6-16). The path to heaven is the way of the cross. We started the Tuesday prayer on April 12th 2005 after a setback in a housing project. Our parish priest Fr. Julian Studden challenged us to choose a day and pray together. We did and our set back became supported by others and to plan the housing we met on Tuesdays and prayed together with other faiths and soon the project became complete. Tuesday became a day of miracles not just for me, but for others as well. We soon included people from across Canada and translated into Spanish to send to Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and in 2011 it became spread to other countries with more people wanting emails. Famvin has been a catalyst for the success of the number of people praying on Tuesday for all projects and Vincentian endeavours. It is no longer just for the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul. The prayer goes to people in all walks of life and even though they may not be Vincentians they pray for our work and God is good. Praise Him always.
Learn Something Each Day – Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t. Learn from them. It will bring out the best in both of you.” I came across this little gem in my spiritual reading on Face Book. Fr. Nathan posted it. Enjoy! “The liturgy derives its greatness from what it is, not from what we make of it. Our participation is, of course, necessary, but as a means of inserting ourselves humbly into the spirit of the liturgy and of serving Him who is the true subject of the liturgy: Jesus Christ. The liturgy is not an expression of the consciousness of a community which, in any case, is diffuse and changing. It is revelation received in faith and prayer, and its measure is consequently the faith of the Church, in which revelation is received…The obedience of faith guarantees the unity of the liturgy, beyond the frontier of place and time, and so let us experience the unity of the Church, the Church as the homeland of the heart.” (Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger) I love his writings and I hope you enjoy as well. Be the best you can be with God’s help.