Building Humility- Created for Holiness – Lily of Purity- Connecting with God
Vincentian Stories of the Heart
In the face of so many wounds that hurt us and could harden our hearts, we are called to dive into the sea of prayer, which is the sea of God’s boundless love, to taste his tenderness. “Work for a cause, not for applause. Live your life to express, not to impress, don’t strive to make your presence noticed, and just make your absence felt.” Humility is the guardian and ornament of all virtues. If the spiritual building does not rest on it, it will fall into ruin. We must be humble. We are there to make those in poverty feel good about themselves. They tell us what they need and we sit with them listening to their story. Remember we Vincentians are the servants. Those in poverty share their stories with us. I remember reading a quote from Vincent. “We must smile as we go to serve the poor and we must let them know we serve all in need with dignity and love as we serve Jesus in the poor. We need them to forgive us for bringing them the food they need. We come forward in humility; we come to serve and happily seek out the stories in their hearts.
Created for Holiness
As Mother Teresa said, I’m very happy if you can see Jesus in me, because I can see Jesus in you. But holiness is not just for a few people. It is for everyone, including you. Holiness is the greatest gift that God can give us; because for that reason He created us. We have answered the call. Let us listen to their story and be there for them. Not for us. One day we delivered a hamper to a new person and the person with me was a new Vincentian. We visited a home where there was no mother and three young children. In our hearts we were thinking it was time to give up the dog. The dog was massive and friendly. I did not give my opinion of such a massive dog this was. We were headed to the door when Sheldon came to the door to give thanks. He said I know you are thinking. I know it costs much to keep t offered and keep Henry the Great Dane I stood in silence and dwelled on the words he said. “The children have lost their mother to cancer. Would you have me take Henry out of their life? I immediately went to the Pet store and told the owner the story. He gave me 2 large bags of food for the dog and asked for the address and name. I told him I could not release information. I took him with me to the house and he gave the two bags of food and he told us and the family he would continue to give the dog free food and other necessities. God was in the room as we ended our visit and blessed all, even the dog.
Lily of Purity
I am determined to be a violet of humility, a rose of charity, and a lily of purity for Jesus. –Blessed Marie-Céline of the Presentation. We have many saints around us and we tend to encourage and pray to them, these are gifts from God. We accept the comfort of this gift. One of the things I encourage strongly is our service to our friends in need. We truly need to pray for our friends in need. Listening to them in our visits, we take the time to listen those in need. I was visiting with a single mom she had just had a baby and there were two other children. I spent time with her. As we talked I asked her about the Certificate on the wall. She said it was hers, but that dream is gone. I told her SSVP would like to help keep her dream. This would require much of her time and money. I just happened to run into a friend who loved kids and would help us in time of need. We started to pray and after Amen, he said I think I can help you and he wrote our a cheque for $5,000.00. I near fainted and we hugged and said it is not a big deal for me and I really want to help, so do not be afraid to ask. This gentleman also paid for another friend who just had triplets and she has a challenged daughter 2 years older than the triplets. She also had a 5th child in her teens. This person hired a nanny for her full time in the summer months. Thanks be to God.
Connecting with God
Human nature is the same for all people, and so all people experience, even in this fallen world, a yearning to reconnect with God, to live in communion with God. And this is why all people also experience the difficulty, the challenge, the obstacles involved in that search: Our human nature is fallen, and we need a savior. As Vincentians we are blessed to have people who pray and fast for us. The greatest fast is accepting the poor placed before us. Another short story from one of our long time Vincentians; He and his helper had been visiting a family in need. He never allowed them to put the groceries away as he said it is something for me to do. He offered them coffee and invited them to sit. The doorbell rang and it was another Vincentian from the same conference. He took the extra food and went to the kitchen to put it away. The Vincentian came to the living room. He said; “how come you phoned us to give you food. He said he needed very little and neighbors needed it more. So we said we could bring to both. He said no I do not need food. The Vincentian asked, “So why do you call us?” He humbly said, “I need and love your visits. I am very lonely.” It was a lesson learned and shared often to other Vincentians.