J. Patrick Murphy, in his reflections on the life of Vincent. in Mr. Vincent writes…
In a second famous sermon so many people were motivated to take food and medicines to a poor family they created a veritable parade on the road to their home. Vincent took one look and immediately realized there was great charity but it was poorly organized. His greatest gift to serving the poor was his ability to organize the effort the first time in the history of the world.
Lesson: Pay attention to your experiences; you may find your great contribution.
Vincent paid attention to his experiences… dreamed about the possible! Thank God! A more traditional way of speaking would say… He “Co-operated with Grace.”
Pope Francis pays attention to his experiences. Listen to his words to the youth attending WYD.
In my years as a bishop, I have learned one thing. Nothing is more beautiful than seeing the enthusiasm, dedication, zeal and energy with which so many young people live their lives. When Jesus touches a young person’s heart, he or she becomes capable of truly great things. It is exciting to listen to you share your dreams, your questions and your impatience with those who say that things cannot change.
For me, it is a gift of God to see so many of you, with all your questions, trying to make a difference. It is beautiful and heartwarming to see all that restlessness!
Today the Church looks to you and wants to learn from you, to be reassured that the Father’s Mercy has an ever-youthful face, and constantly invites us to be part of his Kingdom.
On the opening screen of an app created to challenge youth to become engaged with the social teaching of the Church Pope Francis writes..
My dream is to have a million young Christians – better, a whole generation – to embody the Church’s social teaching by their lives.
Two Popes have experienced the energy of youth paid attention and focused it.
Are we as Vincentians, both personally and institutionally, paying attention to youth in our parishes and organizations?
One of the most frequent observations I hear from youth is that they don’t feel they fit in. Think about it. At our meetings we often have special youth groups set apart. All well and good. But do we integrate and listen to their voices in meetings?
A recent article in CRUX asks a very powerful question … Are our parishes listening? What happens when our youth come home from the profound experience of World Youth Day. (If you have any doubt about the impact think of the fact that it is said 20% of priests ordained last year participated in a WYD.)
In WYD Francis focusing on mercy.
You may find your greatest contribution… not doing it yourself but encouraging others.
- How do you listen to and encourage young people?
- What do you need to pay attention to in your experiences that needs focusing?
- How can you help your institutions to pay attention to youth?
PS “If twelve dudes from 2000 years ago could change the world by “cooperating with Grace,” just think what the examples of a few hundred thousand could do.” – See more at: http://aleteia.org/2016/07/30/why-you-should-care-about-world-youth-day/#sthash.Rr3ciLxr.dpuf