I went to adoration recently. Towards the end of my hour, I realized that I had not done a lot of praying, not really. I had just been sitting there, keeping Jesus company, kind of waiting with Him. Shouldn’t I have prayed? All prayer is answered; we do not have to be showy. No one even needs to know, except God. Have a great week.
A New Beginning – When you give it all to Him, you are a new person. It is really like taking out the trash, or cleaning out the garage. Emptying yourself allows God to fill you up for free with the best fuel. My favorite saying is “Let it go”! I think there is now a song with the title. It has always been kind of a mantra for me. I know when I store things inside and just keep them there, they take over. Even when I can do nothing, I hold on. So I start praying and asking God to take out my trash. He always does it and He keeps things, I thought were trash, but He knew I really needed to deal with it. Emptying yourself is so uplifting. One of our Vincentian Spiritual Advisors is Franciscan. Many years ago he heard me speak and one thing I quoted was from the prayer of St Francis. This is always a new beginning when we are a channel of peace and when we change the things we can and accept the things we can’t. God isn’t finished. It is good for us to fill ourselves with so much love from all the Saints. They are our guide and definitely provide us with new beginnings. These new beginnings in us are gifts for all those our Lord has place before us. We can then help them with new beginnings.
Tunnel of Despair – Those we serve are so often in a tunnel. There is not light, only despair. Our first role as Vincentians is to show them the light. We are embraced by the light of Christ. We have God in three persons to help us lift those placed before us from their poverty. No one said it would be easy, but it is certainly worth it. When we visit our friends in need, we treat them as friends. We are the servants and they are the masters. Our goal is to get them out of the tunnel and into the light. When we see them as Jesus and as a friend the job becomes a little easier, but still takes time, prayer, patience and love. Our light must be on through the whole visit, we need to shine for them to see the love. We watched the lunar eclipse in the mountains last week and it made me think of families I have served who were and some still are in darkness. They need our light. After seeing the eclipse, the sky lit up with the brightest moon ever. It stayed bright all night. Bring your light to our friends in need and serve them as if you were serving Jesus. Always leave them with a sense of love and light at the end of their tunnel.
A Cheerful Heart – When I see or hear these words, I think of Stewardship and wonder how much is needed. A cheerful heart is more, much more. It is a time to share all we have. Our biggest sharing is sharing Jesus. If we consider all God has done for us in the past, we might begin to understand that there is nothing we haven’t been given. And once we know we have it all, it’s only natural to want to share with others. Always bring Jesus in your heart to wherever He directs you. Make home visits with a cheerful heart. Bring your cheerful heart to visit in prisons, homeless shelters, addiction centres and to all of your Vincentian Meetings. Your cheerful heart will allow you to share and be positive. We all need to see cheerful hearts in our day to day routines. Good Vincentians have cheerful hearts and are always ready to share.
Vincentian Spirituality – We had a training session a few weeks ago, called “Ozanam Day”. Our keynote speaker, no stranger to Vincentians was Fr. Ron Ramson. I re-read his book, “Praying with Frederic Ozanam”, before the date. I read it often. He says, “Vincentian Spirituality starts with Jesus.” To do follows to be and what we do follows who we are. Our inner self should show in the actions of the outer self. If we carry Jesus inside, our outer self should exhume Vincentian Spirituality. Many people question me on the difference between spirituality and Vincentian Spirituality. I feel the difference is we see Christ in others, but then we also are Christ to others. We need to embrace Jesus, fall in love and stay in love. Your Vincentian Spirituality will shine. We are different or should be. We do not use the term clients, they are Jesus our friends. When you serve Jesus in others, there is no room for complaining. We do the best we can with the love of Christ in us. The reason we are Vincentians vary from person to person, however the real reason is we are called by Jesus to love and serve those in poverty. No work of charity is foreign and we pray and work to find healing for those who are experiencing poverty. We do this with prayer, Christ in us and our Vincentian Family behind us. Embrace your Vincentian Spirituality and let it shine for all to see.
Lynn L’Heureux is Special needs co-coordinator & Advisor of the Society of St Vincent de Paul Calgary Alberta Canada.
Her newsletter is translated into 3 languages.