Something for God – Being Thankful – All Roads Journey to Jesus – Live the Advent Journey
Vincentian Day of Prayer and Fast – Tuesday December 29, 2015
Merry Christmas dear Vincentian Family. Pray always for each other. Pray for our clergy, religious and seminarians, our dear Pope Francis and those in need. Pray for our youth. Blessings, Lynn
Something for God – Fasting, in simple terms is the voluntary avoidance of something that is good. When Catholics talk about fasting, we normally mean restricting the food that we eat. We can fast between meals, by not eating snacks, or we can engage in a complete fast by abstaining from all food. The English word breakfast, in fact, means the meal that breaks the fast. We can carry the fast to a different level, including it with prayer for all we serve. We normally hear about fasting during Lent, but we can fast any time. Our fast leads us to becoming a better person in Christ. Tradition teaches fasting is from food; however I believe we give a better gift to our Lord by fasting from bad habits. I encourage you to fast from judging others. Especially those we serve. We do not serve them to make them like us, but by helping them to be who they really are with comfort. We help lift them from poverty and change their lifestyle at their speed and desire. The other thing we could fast from is gossip and criticism of others. Our fasting should be pleasing to God, hidden inside of us and a help to others. We do so in silence and prayer, there is no need to boast. Fast for the good of our Lord and our call to service.
Being Thankful – Thank God every day. It is the right thing to do and will always bring you joy. Let the Joy of Advent and Christmas remain in your heart. If you are in a jam and have really messed up thank God for His presence and for whatever plan He has for you and wait and trust things will be good. Somehow this doesn’t make sense. How can we possibly feel thankful when we are in such a mess and so many things are going wrong? In Scripture we see Jesus in tears and we see Him praying. He cries for us and for all we serve. He grieves over our problems. We have felt the pain of crying for others and grieving over them. We pray and know He will always be there. Even though we may not feel thankful in the moment, stopping for the silent prayer and thanking Our Lord is always a good thing. We pray after visiting those in need in their homes and those in institutions and we pray to thank God for putting them before us. Each one changes our life a little. When we hurt for others, we feel the pain of Jesus as He hurts for them too and for us. We do not have all the answers and we do not know the road to take always, but one thing for sure is God is always there and He knows what is best. He will turn our problems into blessings. Thank you God for always being with your Vincentian Family and we need you with us. Thankfulness brings peace to all.
All Roads Journey to Jesus – The road most traveled for Vincentians, is the road to service and when we arrived at our destination we see the face of Jesus. Some have trouble doing this, but what we have to know is Jesus is in all of us and more so in those suffering. Sometimes the road we travel in service is uphill or filled with rocks and we feel on unsteady ground, but once we reach our destination Christ is there, encouraging us and leading us to what we are called to do. In Scripture we read all roads led to Rome. In our day perhaps all roads lead to the mall, especially over the last few weeks. In reality our roads lead to Christ. It does so in prayer, celebrating the Eucharist and in serving others. All through Advent we were called to prepare the way of the Lord and to make strait our path to make the road smooth and the hills less steep. We did this through prayer, fasting and reconciliation which helped us to fill the potholes. We each have our own potholes to fill. For me it is anger and I fill this hole with forgiveness. I seek forgiveness for my anger and forgive others when I am hurt. I’ll be the first to admit this is not easy, especially when your whole being says, “He is wrong”! Our road to Jesus tells us to forgive, be humble and love everyone. We cannot do this without our awesome guide, the Holy Spirit. God gives us the tools to build our road. So together we fill our potholes and continue to journey on our road to Christ.
Live the Advent Journey – I am writing this on the 26th day of Advent and I have just finished reading Fr. Barron’s reflection. He tells us about the first Christmas homily. The homily was on the annunciation and given by the angel to the shepherds, Christmas night. The first thing the angel declared was, “Fear Not”. Advent has helped us to face our fear and to be faithful to knowing God is with us. When we know god is with us always, we need not fear. The angel our first evangelist said, “For behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.” The good news is: “For unto you (us) is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” We celebrate this good news in our lives today. Christ the Lord is our Saviour and the saviour of all. This is why we see Christ in one another and especially in those we serve who are in need of His love. We most times do not know when we make a difference, but we serve anyway. It is not about making us feel good, it is about making others feel good. Continue your journey with hearts filled with love and know Christ is always with us and loves us.
Joy to the World and peace on earth and especially to those we serve. Peace and blessings, Lynn