Welcoming the Stranger

by | Jan 12, 2016 | Formation, Reflections, Society of St. Vincent de Paul | 2 comments

lynn-lheureux-featured-facebookMary Mother of God – Welcoming the Stranger – God’s Mercy – New Year’s Resolutions

Vincentian Day of Prayer and Fast – Tues. Jan. 12, 2016

Dear Vincentian Brothers and sisters: Pray Always for those we serve and our Vincentian Family around the world.  Remember to pray for our priests, deacons, seminarians, religious and our dear Pope Francis.  Lord, You want to heal in me what seems to be impossible. Help me to give You the yes You need so I can be a witness of Your salvation. Amen.

Mary Mother of God – Mary was given gifts from God and was called to serve.  She didn’t whine or argue.  She said “Yes”.  She was probably very frightened.  She was a teenager about to be pregnant.  What do you think was going through her mind?  This was a great act of Faith.  She was given 4 special gifts from God.  The first gift was the gift of being chosen.  God chose her for her role just as He chooses us.  Mary said “Yes”.  Her second gift was a mission.  God presented Mary with a mission.  We too, have a mission and God is with us. She did not understand but trusted and once again said “Yes”.  Her mission was to be the Mother of God. Our mission is to serve those in need.  Then God gave her the Holy Spirit and she was pregnant  with a very special child.  The Holy Spirit was the greatest gift to Mary and is the greatest gift for us as well.  The Spirit leads and guides us as the Spirit guided Mary.  Then God gave her the gift of Acceptance.  Mary accepted God’s plan and became the Mother of Jesus.  Her next gift was the gift of giving.  We are given this gift as well.  Mary gave her Son to us.  This was the greatest act of giving.  God bestowed this gift on us too.  We are called to give in different ways.  We are God’s chosen and we have the 5 Gifts, we just have to use them for the good of others and say “Yes” to His call.

Welcoming the Stranger – Today I am attending a Syrian Refugee workshop presented by my Diocese. This will give us a better understanding of how we can be present to them.  I was a stranger and you welcomed me.  This statement from Matthew is one we follow willingly and lovingly in the Vincentian family.  The 102nd World Day of Migrants and Refugees, is January 17, 2016.  We are called upon to serve those coming to our country.  We are called to serve those who may not speak our language or know our ways.  They are frightened and displaced.  Our job is to serve Jesus in each one of them.  Pope Francis has urged us all to reach beyond the “globalization of indifference”1 to listen to the cries and to hear the silent suffering of our brothers and sisters. He has challenged every European parish to welcome a family of refugees. We must respond to this crisis, here and now, as Christians, as Canadians, as human beings.  The refugees are larger in number than after the 2nd World. War are in need and we and we are called to serve them.  In an ideal world, no one would have to leave the country of their birth. Unfortunately, in our world today, persecution, oppression, and war are giving rise to one crisis after another, forcing the innocent to take flight.  Even the child Jesus himself was a refugee when His family fled the persecution of King Herod (Matthew 2.13-14).  We are called to serve Jesus in each Refugee and we welcome the stranger.

God’s Mercy – Find a quiet place with God, today.  We cannot give to others what we don’t have if we don’t take time to nurture our relationship with God.  We live in a very fast-paced world and it seems like we can never keep up with all the demands of this speed. We try harder and work faster and stay busy longer, yet it seems like the people who demand a piece of our time are more numerous than we can handle.  How many times do we ask God for something but our prayers don’t get answered? Why does that happen?  We’ve heard all the standard answers: God did answer but the answer was no. We didn’t pray enough or say the right prayer. We don’t have enough faith. If our answer is, “God’s too busy to be concerned about my little request.”  This just is not true.   We have to believe and spend the time with God to feel His mercy.  Sometimes we become frustrated with our busy schedule and do not understand why God is not helping us.  It is not God who is too busy it is us and we have to take the time to talk to Him.  Spend the time in quiet solitude to allow God to nurture us.  Find a special quiet place and make it your reflection zone so you can be alone with God without distractions.  We pray His will be done.  He will always be with us, just take the time to feel His presence and hear His message to us.  We are never alone.  Take the time to receive His Mercy.

New Year’s Resolutions – Live, pray and love always.  Live the 10 commandments.  They are not a burden and are not multiple choices.  Each one will make your 2016 a better place to be.  Our Faith is the secret to making things we do feel comfortable and easy.    Making a New Year’s Resolution is about becoming a better you.  We can always smile more especially at clerks or waiters and waitresses.  Love more in the family and pray more with the family.  Love is the power to lead us to a better life.  .  Read more Scripture, and let it guide you. We have been given  the Holy Spirit to help us love others unconditionally even though we sometimes need supernatural love.  We pray and love comes easier.  It is amazing.  Do we feel better?  Absolutely!  The key phrase used to be “What would Jesus do?”  This applies today.  Think and pray how Jesus would handle things.  Enjoy the change.  We will then discover what love can do.  Jesus is love.



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.


  1. jim


    These are wonderful words and you have been blessed.
    You do sound like you have peace in your heart and soul.
    This is something I long for.
    God bless you.

    • Lynn L'Heureux

      Thank you. The words come from our Lord and I write them for others. When it touches others, I have done God’s work. He blesses all of us. We all have different gifts. My prayer is your day be filled with good things and you recognize the good in yourself.