Vincentian Fast Lane – Grace for all in Need – Guard Your Heart – Living the Beatitudes
Vincentian Day of Prayer and Fast – Tuesday November 2, 2015
Dear Vincentian family. What a joyful time I had in Denver, meeting and learning from the family and this special gathering. I was sometimes overwhelmed by the speakers and information, but I was also very humbled to be part of this family. God truly blesses us and is always with us and no more so than at this gathering. Young and old from two countries, sharing, respecting each other and learning from one another was the reward for attending. I ask you to pray with me for all the organizations that do amazing things in this Vincentian Family. Get to know them. Do some research on Famvin and you will be glad you did. The people who are doing and succeeding can teach us much. God be with you.
Vincentian Fast Lane – Some days our work is a blur. We try to get all our visits done and hampers packed as quickly as possible. We must remember to move from the fast lane, especially at this busy time. We also know, it will only get busier. We need to find a slow lane and serve Jesus with love and joy, giving dignity along with the food. When booking appointments allow enough time in between to give each person and family the time they deserve. This is our gift and our Vincentian Charism. Pray with your partner while making the hamper, on the way to the visit and after the visit. You have the power to make things happen, to make change by the Grace of God. Remember to be present and do not worry what is next. God is always with you. Use the power of the Trinity and you will be totally blessed and so will those we serve. Keep this in mind over the next several weeks and you will enjoy the service to our friends more.
Grace for all in Need – Are you aware you are saved by Grace? “ For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. . .” (Ephesians 2:8) We must believe. When we believe the truth, God’s Grace comes into our hearts and changes us. Faith brings Grace, but Grace brings change. God has given us the gift of being called as a Vincentian Servant. We are blessed. We have many role models. Read the letters and Spirituality of Ozanam. Study the Spirituality of Blessed Sister Rosalie and St. Louise de Marillac and of course the writing s of Saint Vincent. The best study of our service and love of those in poverty is Scripture. Keep it with you always. Jesus served all. He taught us to serve without judgement. You know if people could do what we criticize them for, they wouldn’t need us. We must show them the way with love to lift them from their poverty. Sometimes it takes time. Envelop yourself in the Grace of God and always take the Trinity with you in your heart. Things will be great.
Guard Your Heart – Guard your heart with the righteousness of Jesus. Sometimes we have a gut feeling a feeling really in our heart, but make sure it is right. Serving those in need, especially the tough cases rely on having help. This is why we travel in pairs and this is why we pray before, during (silently) and after each visit. A quick prayer to hold in your heart during the visit is, “I believe in God, I trust in You, Lord. I rely on your help. I believe and trust in you.” You will feel a sense of comfort and the fear you had is gone with the presence of God. We are empowered and our hearts are pure with our service and our special tag-alongs, the Trinity. The Trinity will protect your heart and guide you on your visit and after. The minute we say “Yes”, our heart is straight. The righteousness of Jesus empowers us, even though we sin and guards our hearts as we work together for justice, joy and peace of all those we serve. They are our masters and we pray they forgive us for bringing them the bread.
Living the Beatitudes – Blessed are the poor in Spirit, the reign of God is theirs. What do you think Matthew meant be poor in Spirit? What does it mean today? This makes for a good discussion. I would think many would say it refers to all of us because we all suffer loneliness, pain, discouragement and many trials in life. If you read the Commentary of the Bible you will see, “poor in spirit” is those in poverty. They are the deep in the pit of their stomach hungry, out of work, homeless. They suffer from addictions, and some are imprisoned. They are the economically poor. I believe we can sometimes be “poor in spirit” when we learn to know and understand those we serve in poverty. I offer challenges often to those who serve to live for a month or a week on what the poor in spirit have to survive on. I would think most of us would break the challenge, but I think they would understand more than they did before. Try the challenge and always love and serve Christ who is in the poor in spirit. You are the presence of Christ, serve the broken Christ.
Have a good week and remember to pray for our young people, many of who were at the recent family gathering in Denver. Pray for our wonderful Pope Francis, who I am convinced, is a Vincentian. Pray for all our Vincentian Family, especially those we work alongside of and for our priests, bishops, deacons and seminarians. Pray for everyone at Famvin. They are amazing.
Lynn L’Heureux is Special needs co-coordinator & Advisor of the Society of St Vincent de Paul Calgary Alberta Canada.
<p”>Her newsletter is translated into 3 languages.