At the Door of Mercy #IamVincent

by | Jun 2, 2016 | Formation, Reflections

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Church of Saint Laurent (Paris), May 7, 2016. A poor man sleeps at the gates of St. Lawrence church, in Paris. It’s 9 am, several hours have passed since the city has already begun its busy day.

In the photo, a dirty and tatty temple with rehabilitation underway. At the foot of its closed doors, a drunk man sleeping. A symbol of some realities that we live with day by day.

Our Church, the People of God, is ancient, with a history of nearly two thousand years. As this parish church, we also have dirt adhered to us — disfiguring our face and our mission. As the temple, we are also beginning and never ending cleaning and rehabilitation. As the temple, we often surround ourselves with spiked and closed fences. Let the doors be opened, so everyone wishing can get in and, more importantly, so we can reach out to the world, especially to the needy waiting at our door!

The parish is dedicated to Saint Lawrence, an ancient holy Christian (III century), of whom tradition says…

taking advantage of the recent assassination of the pope, the mayor of Rome, who was a pagan very fond of money, ordered Lawrence to hand over the wealth of the Church. Lawrence then asked for three days to collect them; and during those days invited all the poor people, cripples, beggars, orphans, widows, the elderly, disabled, blind and lepers he was helping. On the third day, he appeared before the prefect, and introduced him the poor and sick that he had gathered, saying that these were the true treasures of the Church. The prefect then said, “You dare to make fun of Rome and the Emperor, so you will perish. But you will not die in an instant, but slowly and enduring the greatest pain of your life.”

And indeed, St. Lawrence was burned alive at the stake.

So be it. Let the poor be our wealth. Let us “burn” our lives for them. Let us be the church of Mercy, as our God is a merciful God. As St. Vincent de Paul did.

When I feel moved in my heart, #IamVincent.

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