The Model Teacher – Help Me to Trust – Give Thanks to God – Being a Vincentian is not for Wimps
Vincentian Day of Prayer and Fast – Tuesday September 29, 2015
Dear Vincentian Family: Pray for each other and for those suffering around the world. Be Jesus to one another and always smile and show love. Pray in thanksgiving for our priests, deacons, bishops, seminarians and our dear Pope Francis. Of course always find time to pray always for those we serve. God gives us what we desire when it also benefits others. Selfish ambition is sinful because it tries to grab success away from others. Forgive me Lord, because my pride so often controls me. Make me humbly aware of my poverty and my need to rely on Your strength alone, and to serve my brothers and sisters. Amen.
The Model Teacher – The best tool for a teacher is confidence. Experience and believing in what is right is paramount to becoming the model teacher. Jesus is the perfect model teacher. He knows His material well and He knows us well. When training and teaching other Vincentians show them God’s plan and they will be taught well. Of course our Rule Book is the best place to start. It was written and re-written with prayer and guidance from above. However sometimes we have to act on the spot and perhaps a new method is to be developed, so we must turn to Jesus to show us the way. No matter how much we know or think we know, we do not know it all. It is very important to use mentors with new members and to show them how. Go on a visit with them either in the home or a prison visit and answer the questions they have on the spot. Always make it clear and be open to suggestions they may wish to offer. Jesus taught by example every day. He taught with patience, encouragement and trust. Share with New Vincentians our stories and let them know it never stops getting new. Each visit, each person, each family could present us with something new. No act of Charity is foreign to us. Remember Jesus’ disciples were not perfect and we are also not perfect. Remember this and let the new Vincentian know we will be wrong or make mistakes, but we can always learn and go forward. Let Jesus be our model teacher.
Help Me to Trust – Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you’re scared to death. Spending time in prayer, taking in silence to listen to the advice and know He is always with us is the beginning of trust. Turn it over to Him. If the Lord is calling us to do something, He won’t abandon us. It’s extremely important to rely on Him not only when we are coming to a decision but also as we are carrying out our plan of action. When Jesus said, “I am with you always”, He wasn’t kidding! Helping you to trust is not an easy task, it really is something you have to find yourself. We have the Trinity and our Vincentian Family to guide us. Prayer and fasting is one way of knowing trust both from our Lord and our fellow parishioners and Vincentians. Reading Scripture and co-operating with our God, satisfies Him. If God has placed a desire in our heart, then He will satisfy our longing when we cooperate with His plans. It is time to look in the mirror again and see Jesus in ourselves. Don’t take a quick glance, but a long hard look and you will see the love He has for you and see how special you are to Him. Trust in Him and believe. When you see Jesus in yourself and others you will know how much God loves you and how much you can trust in God to help you get the job done.
Give Thanks to God – God deserves all the thanks and credit. We do what we are called to do. Success belongs to God. Sometimes we won’t even know if we have succeeded in helping those we serve. Our first Regional President, Don Hunter used to say, “We are like Johnny Appleseed, we plant the seeds and God waters them and lets them grow.” I always remember this. We are called to do this wonderful work, but all thanks and praise belongs to God. He gives us the Holy Spirit and His Son to help. Yes, we do the visits, bring the goods or loans and try to lift everyone from poverty. We serve Jesus with the help of the Trinity and we praise God for allowing us to do this special work. Thanks and praise definitely goes to Him, who calls us, leads us and guides us to plant the seeds. He rains down His love, joy and promises to make our seeds grow. Attempting to discern God’s will, especially when it comes to major decisions, can take a long time. And we can prolong the process if we aren’t listening carefully. If we continue to seek His guidance, He will provide us with the information we need, when we need it. His timing is perfect. Always give thanks to God.
Being a Vincentian is not for Wimps – Jesus is the truth (and the way and the life). Due to retaining the original practice of the transubstantiation of bread and wine into the miraculous Eucharist, the Catholic Church is the pillar that holds Jesus up — in the fullest possible way — for the world to see. We take the body and blood with us on each visit. We are purified so that we can live as pillars of truth and love. For others to recognize we must be totally immersed and serve, knowing we serve Jesus. It seems complicated as we go to others as Jesus and we serve Jesus in others. We live the Scripture, we live the Sacraments and therefore we serve, not just with our lips but with ourselves. We need to embrace all we serve, know they were put before us by God. We serve those in need in the most loving way to make them feel God in us and in them. In order to do this we need strength, the strength of God. Service and the Word are complete. Ability is what you are capable of doing. Motivation from God determines what to do. Depending on Our Lord and attitude determines how well you do it. You cannot have one without the other and it is not for wimps.
Lynn L’Heureux is Special needs co-coordinator & Advisor of the Society of St Vincent de Paul Calgary Alberta Canada.