Vincentian Day of Prayer and Fast – Tuesday February 2, 2016
Dear Vincentian Family: Pray for each other and pray for peace. Welcome the Stranger. We should pray each day for our youth, priests, deacons, seminarians, bishops and our dear Pope Francis. Of course we pray for those we serve and we pray for those who have hurt us. Lord, I wait for you. Come to me Lord in the depth of this winter season. Assure me that your strength is my own: Your courage inspires me to be unafraid. Your light will warm and lead me on. Amen.
Holiness Sets Us Free – Achieving Sainthood is a lifelong process. It starts with our baptism and continues when we live to serve God and answer His call. The work we do is not about us, it is about Our Lord. He calls; we come and do His will. Each act of charity is one step closer to holiness, living in His Word, reading Scripture, forgiving others and service to those in need, imprisoned, suffering from addiction, or whatever the need. We do not take the credit; we thank God for the goodness in leading us to those in need. The best freedom we could have is in holiness. Each day, pray for holiness and it will come. Of course we were given a free will and sometimes we choose to do our own thing. We then have to start over. “Those who respond to God’s call to holiness are the most joyful people in history. They have a richer, more abundant experience of life, and they love more deeply than most people can ever imagine. Even in the midst of suffering they are able to maintain a peace and joy that are independent of the happenings and circumstances surrounding them. Through Christ the Mediator, they [the faithful] should be drawn day by day into ever more perfect union with God and with each other, so that finally God may be all in all.” (From the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, para. 48)
Why do I say “Blessings”? – What do I mean when I say them? I am asked this often. Blessings and hugs are my favourite things. When I finish a letter or send a card, or email I end with Blessings. It is not habit. I truly want to bless the people. It is a quick prayer and kind of a hug. I feel God has blessed me abundantly and I truly want others to feel His blessings. Sometimes on a home visit I ask for blessings on the families. I do not always do this out loud, but I always ask God to bless those in need. I do visit a Muslim family whom I have known for about 7 years. I visit them to this day, not because they are in need so much, but because they have made an impact on me and they have become family. When they were in need almost 7 years ago, we would pray together. The prayers were to God and in my heart to Jesus, Mary, Joseph and all the Saints. The Father of the house would always tell me we pray to the same God. He always said to me upon my departure. God Bless you. We can learn so much from those we serve. God opens our hearts and our minds to them. Blessings are for everyone, not just the few. All of God’s creation belongs to Him and they are loved and blessed always. So, I send blessings to all of you, receive them with joy. God will never stop loving us.
Walk with God – If we walk humbly with our God He will lead us by the hand to exactly who and what we need, to those people, things, and experiences He has designed and intended just for us, and this alone will be the cause of our deep fulfillment and happiness. It is from the cross that we receive His life-giving love. It is through the cross that we have faith in His mercy. The eternal Son of God came to earth, lived, died, and rose again so that we might obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God. Real love shows up not only in times of great joy, delight, and fulfillment but especially when life seems overwhelming and incomprehensible, filled with unbearable suffering and sorrow. It is in these times that love has shown me the way, not around the pain but through it. This is when we see the footprints in the sand and know we are carried by our God. Then we lift our arms up with joy and sing, “I will follow Him.” He truly is the best leader and guide. When we do our home visits we are definitely walking with Him and love flows through Him to us and to those we serve. Walk with God always; it is a good thing to do. We are never alone.
Beacon of Light – Jesus is the gift of light for a darkened world. God is light; in Him there is no darkness. Thanks to our baptisms and our daily decisions to follow Christ, His light shines within us. Jesus is the gift of light for a darkened world. In Scripture, we read God is light; in Him there is no darkness. Thanks to our baptisms and our daily decisions to follow Christ, His light shines within us. But – how bright is your life? To receive this great light we must follow God in truth and love. We know we are sinners, so we must admit our sins, Jesus intercedes for us to the Father, offering Himself in our place in order to gain forgiveness for us (bringing His death on the cross into our lives today).The Light of Christ has no origin, no batteries that wear down, no plug that jolts electrons into brightness, no chemical combustion that explodes into sunshine. The Light of Christ is pure holiness. This is the light we bring to all those in need. We become the beacon of light. Imagine this amount of God’s light shining here on earth! Well, it can and it does – through you and me. Revelations 21:23 explains this light. It is a tremendous gift through the love of God.
Lynn L’Heureux is Special Needs Co-coordinator & Advisor of the Society of St Vincent de Paul Calgary Alberta Canada.