God’s Perfect Plan – The Puzzle in Our Lives – Vincentians Need to Pause – Vincentian Gratitude
Vincentian Day of Prayer and Fast
God’s Perfect Plan
God’s plan is so perfect that even sin, tragedy, and painful deaths are used to bring us to divine union. God wisely makes the problem itself part of the solution. It is all a matter of learning how to see rightly, fully, and therefore truthfully. -from Eager to Love
As Vincentians we try to live God’s perfect plan. Sometimes it is a struggle, but He is always with us. Use His plan of Mercy and love. You should only judge to help, never to be prejudiced or unhappy with what those we serve can do. It is our job to help them learn, seek help from others to lead them forward and help us to lift them from poverty. Sometimes God’s plan needs us to ask others to help with our service. God tells us sometimes to “Let Go” and learn from those He puts in our path. He places people and situations in our path to teach us and help us do great things in His name. When we succeed, it is God who receives the credit too. It is His plan and we truly are His servants. We need to learn to humble ourselves to see His plan and carry it out in His name. Remember it could be someone else carrying out His plan for us and we really need to know that. I just got a call today from a parishioner who was worried about me. She lifted me up and I felt every word she said was from God. His plan always works in mysterious ways. He never leaves us. He loves us and those we serve. Ensure you carry the Gospel with you in your heart and serve always with mercy and love to lift those we serve. Remember we are serving Him in the face of a stranger. You can live God’s perfect plan.
The Puzzle in Our Lives
Many of us received puzzles when we were young. Puzzles for very young children came with large pieces and, when put together, depicted farm animals or sailboats. Being able to see the relationship of the mixed-up pieces and then putting them together correctly was a significant step in perception—and our parents probably praised us when we completed them. Today as grandparents we do the same with our young grandchildren. The image of a puzzle describes one major aspect of our lives. As Vincentians we see the puzzle in those we serve and sometimes the pieces are larger than life, but most often they are small. The puzzle pieces are serious and complicated. We need God’s help to see the pieces and show us where they belong. As Vincentians we need to call on God to understand the pieces which are missing. The difficulties we face in service to Christ who is in the poor will be solved if we believe. Keep solving the puzzle and seeing the face of Jesus in the poor, the imprisoned, and the homeless and all in need for our solving this great puzzle. Read the Gospel or John 1:38 and ask the question “What are you looking for?” If you read Mark 4:40 ask the question, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” Go on to read Matthew 5:13 and ask yourself, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again?” Continue reading Luke 9:20 and ask yourself, “But who do you say that I am?” This is the beginning of learning to solve the puzzles of those we serve. We know we need our Lord to help us and we need the Saints as well to be with us. We find our answers in the Gospel which will also solve the puzzle of our own life, but more important the lives of our friends and neighbors in need.
Vincentians Need to Pause
In my conference we have a retreat usually in January to gather ourselves after the Christmas Hampers and home celebrations. We need this time to pause and pray. If you are lucky enough to go to a retreat house, you will have the silence to stay focused. Even the Pope needs a retreat. Pope Francis had his retreat in the spring in Italy. I suggest you write on a note book all the people in your parish needing prayers and of course all those you serve. When you are in quiet take up this book and pray for each person. This is your best time for prayer. You can pray for your work as a Vincentian and ask God to make you a better person. Pray for your husband and family and pray for your Vincentian Family. Prayer has never hurt anyone and the results from your prayer can make a difference. In the silence even while the meals are served in the retreat I attend. Eating in silence gives you sounds of humor and comfort. The sound of celery or carrots is very loud. You hear others breathing and it gives you a sense of how good life is. You listen to wonderful lectures on amazing themes, always relevant to the serving Vincentians do. It is more than the pause which refreshes because it is refreshing our calling and our soul. I truly encourage you to take the pause if not at a Retreat Center then in your home. You can remove all sound and sit with our Lord asking and listening. He will renew you. BELIEVE!!!!
(Gospel Lk 17:11-19). In this Gospel all 10 lepers had enough faith to call out to Jesus and say, “Have mercy on us Master.” I don’t know what it is about us as humans; we tend to compare ourselves to other people. It is something innate in us. We make assumptions about what we see about other people’s lives when the reality is we do not know another person’s life: their burdens, sufferings, or what we would call their crosses. We make assumptions they are so happy because they have life so easy compared to us until we actually find out their lives are often far more burdensome than ours. I think many of us have said to others, “How do you handle your burdens?” I am asked that time and time again. They usually begin by saying, “We are praying for you”! I show them my gratitude for their prayers, because I know it is them who are calling out to God for me. When we have gratitude our faith deepens. Gratitude is more than a quick thank you. Gratitude is abundant when we help others and when we acknowledge God is with us in our service. Forgiving others is a choice of gratitude. We really shouldn’t compare ourselves to others. We are who God made us to be. When we serve those in need be grateful. Give them courage to be lifted up. Show others gratitude and your will feel gratitude as well. We often have to think of how we feel when good things are done for us. Gratitude is a true gift and we should use it wisely. Always remember to arm ourselves with the Gospels, Prayer and Mercy. We will be rewarded greatly as will those we serve. God will be with us as we journey to serve those in need and we need to know His will be done in gratitude.