Sharing Love – Act Accordingly – Image of God – Do You Feel Called?
Vincentian Day of Prayer and Fast – Tuesday October 13, 2015
Greetings Vincentians: Remember to pray and fast. When you fast with your prayer, it is more meaningful. The best things to fast from are anger, jealousy and any of the deadly sins. If it does not feel good for you or others, fast from it. Lift the sacrifice to our Lord who gave us much, even His life. You are all in my prayers. Pray for all those suffering from terrorism, prejudice and natural disasters. Pray for our youth, bishops, priests, deacons and their wives and our wonderful, loving Pope Francis. Also remember the Seminarians.
Sharing Love – We are called to be one with the poor. We share what God has given us and we are the servant to our masters, the poor. If we consider all God has done for us in the past, we might begin to understand 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. We try to be the image of Jesus’ love when we visit those in need. We give what we have to those in need. We need to share our love in the Vincentian Family, our parish family and the family given to us by God. We need to be Jesus and see Jesus in all we encounter. This is not easier, but it does get easier the more we practice it. I spoke to a lady this week who is coming forward to be a Christian. She is led by her immigrant boyfriend who is working in any job he can get until he can work in his career. She was amazed at his faith when he returned from his low paying job to be told the boss rudely called him a name which was very hurtful. She said he should quit and report the man. He said, “We should pray for him every day and let God heal him.” She had never been a church goer and is now in church each week and prays often. God touches us in many ways when we share His love.
Act Accordingly – As you are called, know we will be expected to act with dignity doing God’s will. We follow the Rule of the Society and serve with the intent of lifting our neighbors from their poverty. Our theme in Canada this year is, “Extend a Hand to Our Neighbors in Need.” Our year ends June 2016. Keep this in mind. Act like you mean it. When Mary was chosen and the Word announced to her as to the flesh in her womb she said, “Yes Lord’! I can’t begin to imagine how she felt and the torment she when through being an unwed mother. This word is present to us today. We listen and know our role. Mine is not the same as yours, listen for your call. God’s calling and support is announced to us in Scripture, in prayer and in the words and actions of others. What are you waiting for from Jesus? Do it now. Grow in faith by noticing the generous and merciful activities of God in those around us. As a Vincentian, act accordingly. You are a gift from God to those in need.
Image of God – God created us in His image. When He finished He said, “This is very good.” We were created to be special. This means that only humans are able to know and love God and share in His life. Our souls most clearly reflect the image of God. Our bodies also reflect the image of God by becoming temples of the Holy Spirit. We have many things in our advantage; we just have to use them. “When we have spiritual readings together, when we have prayers before and after meals and the rosary at night, when we have study groups, forums and workshops, when we go out to distribute food and visit with those in need, Christ is there with us.” (Dorothy Day, Servant of God (1897 – 1980 paraphrased). Be present always to the images of God around you. Accept the comments and ideas at your Vincentian meetings and contribute. A great meeting is one where you are involved. This is our Vincentian Family and the image of God sitting with you at each meeting.
Do You Feel Called? – “Liturgical services are not private functions, but are celebrations of the Church, which is the “sacrament of unity,” namely, the holy people united and ordered under their bishops.” (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, para. 26). To say we travel toward God, with God and in God is to make it crystal clear, prayer is not a human initiative, but a divine one. On life’s journey, it is God who first calls us. In our Parishes and in our Vincentian family we should recognize the calling in each other and learn from one another. We need to feel the calling. It is something to be nurtured every day and often through the day. Make each meeting a time for hope and a time for growing in faith. Listen to others, share with others, and always look for change which is good to serve better. Pray often to live your calling. Can you feel the calling? Listen and openly follow Him. You are called.
Keep yourself in tune with what is happening in your area, Pray for each other. If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend, who you hate, ‘ Serve Jesus well. Heavenly Father, please bless all my friends in need and my Vincentian Family in whatever it is that You know they may be needing this day! And may their life be full of Your peace, prosperity and power as he/she seeks to have a closer relationship with You. Amen.
Lynn L’Heureux is Special needs co-coordinator & Advisor of the Society of St Vincent de Paul Calgary, Alberta Canada.