This week Lynn L’Heureux reflects on the following: An Inward Journey – A Part of the Universe – Acceptance – Family and Service
Vincentian Day of Prayer and Fast
Pray always, celebrate the Year of Mercy through Prayer and service. God be with you always.
An Inward Journey – God is absolutely real and free. He is a gift to all of us. All of Creation is free. It is a gift and grace. Why did God create the earth, the animals, the seasons and everything we have but often take for granted? He did this because He loved us and wanted to communicate Himself to all. He did this to reveal His love. God creates for His purpose. What is this purpose, you may ask? The purpose of Creation is to show the infinite love and it is free to all. All of creations is a gift. God’s love is unselfish. God became human in Jesus for no other reason, but love. We see Him in the beautiful rainbow, the northern lights or the snow on the mountains, Tony always says there’s your mountains. He is shining down love on us. Take a journey to see God in creation. We need to see Him in everyone we serve and in those we serve with. We need the best gift He ever gave to us to be present when we serve. This is the gift of Faith. Our journey in faith is immense and important. No other knowledge we come across can compare. Everything God creates is good, beautiful unique and moral. We are one of His best creations and we are one of a kind. Find God in yourself and be a loving servant for others. You are on an inward journey of the love of God.
A Part of the Universe – We don’t have to be important or significant because God made us in His image. God created incarnation for love, not for sin. It is divine goodness. Jesus remains divine in His humanity. It is a profound honour to be human and part of the universe. Christ is the meaning and model of creation. Christ is in all and is us and God is in Christ and an outward statement of God’s love for us. We are in Christ and He is in us. The Incarnate embraces all and we are transformed into a communion of love centered in Christ. This is a profound honour to be human in God’s image, our beauty and our greatness. We live in this universal Lord and we are called to bring change to the world through this great gift of love. As Vincentians we are called to love others and see Christ in them always. But even more important we must see Him in ourselves. We don’t have to win awards, be important or significant because God made us in His image. We need to challenge ourselves and ask the question, “Am I the image of God? Do I manifest His love to others?” Everything and everyone on earth is loved by God. We are all loved equally. We must return this love to others without prejudice or judgment. We serve Jesus and we love as He does.
Acceptance – We must accept others. Especially today when so many refugees and immigrants are leaving their homes and coming to live in our countries. Our job is not to make them like us, but love them for who they are. Their customs are different, their food is different and their language and customs are different. God has His arms around us and the refugees under our care. Accept your role as servant and do your best to let the refugees feel your love. It is easy if you let yourself go and let God in. Our Lord already accepts them and we must make a difference in their lives. This is not to make us feel good, but to make others feel good. We believe and God will be beside us and in us to welcome the stranger and accept them as they are. We must keep the Refugees in our prayers. We can’t even imagine the suffering they went through to get here. We live in peace and yes we have fear sometimes. The Refugee families for the most part really know nothing else but fear. Pray for God’s intervention in our acceptance of and help us Lord to relate in some way to their crisis. Dear servants of God, be God to our new friends and accept their differences by sharing your love.
Family and Service – What we have learned our family is important to the work we do today. We knew who we were from the first moment and we knew our values. This is what we bring to those we serve. We have made our mistakes and have learned from them and now we are ready to be present to the families Our Lord places before us. Make your visit to the families we serve a good experience for you and for them. It should feel and be a safe place. There is never any room for Judgement. I love being a home visitor and my best visits have been with immigrants and refugees. I have also made good contact with those released from prisons, and addiction centres and now especially with so many families out of work. Our first gifts to those we visit should be compassion, not sympathy but empathy and the compassion to care and make a difference. We need to be kind, to be humble, and to be gentle, patient, and understanding. Sometimes it is hard, so we call on the Trinity, Our God to lead us through to success. God wraps His love around us. So we may bring His lambs in need, love and a family spirit. We are called to serve them and be Christ to each one. I believe we have to try to put ourselves in the place of the family who has lost all, especially hope and we have to in some way bring them hope and love them as our brothers and sisters, our family. Look to the Holy Family as a model. Leave the family you have just served with hope and love. I often like to give them a hug (with their permission) and reassurance for things to get better. They often say, “It already is better!” Then I know God made a difference.
Lynn L’Heureux is Special needs co-coordinator & Advisor of the Society of St Vincent de Paul Calgary Alberta Canada.