Silence – Your Grace is Enough – Live a Little Boldly – We are Made for Living
Vincentian Day of Prayer and Fast – Tuesday, August 4, 2014
My dear Vincentian Family. Blessed are the Vincentians, who know how to love unconditionally, they will reflect the love of God. Blessed are the Vincentians who know how to listen patiently; they will instill confidence in others and will know the joy of seeing those other individuals grow. You are truly blessed as you work for God in the Vincentian Family. Be someone’s reason to smile. Live in the arms of Jesus every day. Pray for peace everywhere. Pray for each other and walk together with our Lord. Pray especially for Pope Francis, our priests deacons and religious and those stepping forward to have a holy vocation with Christ. Amen.
Silence – There is nothing more precious and life giving than a silent retreat. We can’t always be on a retreat, but we can claim silence by ourselves or with others, even if it is just for an hour. In this silence you begin talking and telling God things and then soon you are in a space so wonderful and alone except for God talking to you. He is telling you good things and you are smiling and are full of pure joy. Sometimes people ask me why I would get up at 4:30 in the morning. “For the silence, it is is golden!” I remember reflecting while at a silent retreat at Mount St. Francis in Alberta Canada. It was a weekend retreat and except for the lectures was totally in silence. I decided to think about what silence meant. I began to listen to the silence. My hearing was so sharp. I heard my breath, I heard birds, the wind, trees rustling, people walking quietly in the hallways and I heard the cry of the poor. Then I heard God saying, “See what I have done for you. I love you my child.” I began to pray, Our Father. . . . We can’t always get away for silence so we have to make our own. It is not selfish. Then I saw or sensed the humour of the silence at a retreat. Do you know how loud celery is when crunched? The best is the power of a smile. Thank you God! Do you know how much fun a silent snowball fight is? With angel and saints cheering you on! I never knew Saint Vincent and Blessed Frederic knew about snow and what a team they were with Blessed Rosalie and Louise. Thank you God for the gift of the silent retreat! Yes I heard you say go serve my poor. Thank you God!
Your Grace is Enough – There is a true story of a young couple that lived in rural Maine; they ran a grocery store alongside a gasoline station. In difficult times, some of the locals would pull into the gas station and beg the man to give them gas even though they could not pay for it as things were not going well for them, either on the farm or in their own stores. Almost always, he would not only fill up the tank with gas he would run into the grocery store and see what his wife was baking, cut a little slice of pie, wrap it up in aluminum foil and then hand it to the family and saying, “You’ve got the fuel for your car; now here is fuel for your body.” The man was not rich, but he felt rich and people chided him for being so generous. He prayed, Your Grace is enough, Lord please help them. The Lord calls us to do what we can and He says if you come to me my grace is sufficient. It does not matter if we are poor or weak and make mistakes. If you read Corinthians, Paul reminds us “in Christ” we are made strong. His grace is sufficient.
Live a Little Boldly – If you stop giving the moment it begins to hurt, you do not see the joy of giving, and you never see the benefits of your generosity. God will always guide you and give what you need, live boldly and be generous. If you stop serving the minute you receive a criticism and the pain it causes You will never discover sacrifice and what our Lord’s Sacrifice has done, or the rewards of serving others. If you stop loving the moment it becomes difficult you will never know love and you will never know compassion. If you refuse to forgive and seek revenge instead, you will never understand or discover the grace of unconditional forgiveness. If you hesitate to share yourself the moments it costs you will never discover intimate friendship. Joy comes to all who don’t know when to quit, who can’t draw the line, who live in our Lord, give, and forgive always. They live boldly in the arms of our Lord.
We are Made for Living – We were made for life, for sharing life, for eternal life. God tells us in Scripture we are not made for death. God grieves, rather than delights in, the death of creation. We are made for living, for existing, for growth here and into eternity. And life is not for its own sake, as Paul reminds the Corinthians, but for sharing with all of God’s creation. We are made for life, and our life is deeper and richer when none are deprived by our living. Do we sometimes cling to death, preserving our own life at the expense of others? We need not be afraid. God is with us always and He wants us to live a good life. He wants us to be happy. Happiness is not determined by what’s happening around you, but rather what’s happening inside you. Most people depend on others to gain happiness, but the truth is, it always comes from within. The road to success is always under construction. The road with God is always open and smooth traveling. Giving up is not an option. He is always with us for life.