Generous Heart – Turn Everything to Love – Centering in Christ – According to God’s Will
Vincentian Day of Prayer and Fast – Tuesday August 11, 2015
Dear Vincentian Family: Pray for each other and for those around the globe suffering from natural disaster, fires, floods, tornadoes and other storms and everyone suffering from abuse, prejudice, unfairness, torture and intolerance. We feel safe until we see the dangers and we must pray for others who see them often. Of course pray daily for our Vincentian Family, Priests, Religious, Seminarians, Deacons and our Beloved Pope Francis. Remember to rest. I am on holiday at the beautiful Okanagan Lake in the Canadian Rockies. Bless your week. Amen!
Generous Heart – A generous heart is sharing Jesus. Sometimes we become overwhelmed when we have so many calls and demands seem great. Don’t give up because things are hard, work harder, when you think of giving up. Everything we have comes from God. He wants us to have everything we need. Sometimes we seem to question why those we serve need so much and we criticize them for their special requests. We forget about the generous heart of Jesus and how he was so present to His people, healing and truly making them feel good about themselves. Our generous heart will be rewarded many times over, however not always with material things. As Vincentians we do great work serving those in need, but some of us tend to complain. We must always remember our role as Christians and Vincentian disciples is to grow a generous heart; to have the spirit to give not from our excess but from what we have and what is needed. We are called to grow a generous heart and to trust God and to trust our neighbor. How can we inspire our Vincentians and our Parish to be generous? Each person in need deserves our generous heart, our Vincentian heart.
Turn Everything to Love – I’m sure many of you have read this little book by Robert P. Maloney, C.M. It is a rule for lay members of the Vincentian Family. “Love is inventive even to infinity”. (SV X1, 146). We are called to Vincentian Life. It is not by accident. We do not have the advantage of living in cloister or taking vows, however we have said “Yes” to God and He places many people in need before us. We have to take this seriously. Being a Christian is not sitting back and watching others do the work. Being a Vincentian is a vocation. Saying “yes” is serious. After reading this book again I realized we really do need a rule for Christian Life, but even more so for Vincentian Life. As Vincentians we see the face of Christ in all we serve and love as Christ loves. An attitude of love is easy to maintain as long as we are with friends, we’re not in traffic, waiting in line, in a hurry, or not feeling well. But Jesus didn’t give us exceptions to the rule of loving others. Even on the cross He prayed for all of us. “I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35) This is being a Christian and a Vincentian. I encourage you to read or re-read this little book and always “Turn Everything to Love.”
Centering in Christ – I love to pray before the Blessed Sacrament. It is a peace like no other. Sometimes I realize at the end of my hour I did not do a lot of praying. I just sat in silence. I was waiting with Him, basking in His love and keeping Him company. I felt a little guilty for not praying. There are so many people in need. Then I thought about the Garden of Gethsemane and how the apostles did not stay awake with Jesus. They could not wait with him in His time of need. My hour was not at night, but during the day. I did not have trouble staying awake, I just didn’t pray. I wasn’t there for Him as much as He was there for me. I stayed faithfully for my hour and actually more because I felt so good. Actually I stayed beyond the hour and felt like I was glowing. Jesus did all the talking and I was truly spellbound. I left as usual saying, “Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I love you so much.” This was my prayer. I was receiving and knew I now must pray for others and centre on God’s love for them and serve them with joy, giving them hope. When we can centre on Christ, His message comes through.
According to God’s Will – The difference between the saints and those who have been less successful in living the Christian life is the saints affixed their singleness of purpose on doing the will of God. Jesus becomes one of us because he values us for who we are. He becomes one of us because there is nothing that we can do that can devalue ourselves. He treasures each and every one of us and he recognizes the price that we are and it is the full price. No discount for the disabled dog. No discount for the disabled human being. God pays the full price with Christ. Christ became one of us so we would know that sacrifice and gift from God. Taking on the human condition he also knows what it is like to be fully human with all its weaknesses and temptations. He served others. He was there on the cross pouring out His love for us without exception. He did this at the will of the Father who loves us unconditionally and the love will never leave us.