Service is the fundamental attitude that governs the whole of human life. Service belongs to the Holy Spirit, who offers himself a loving union between the Father and the Son, as well as the union of all in God. Service is also a basic choice and a goal to live for God and others like Christ, who gives His Spirit to us (cf Mt 20, 28). The service of the Holy Spirit is essentially the building up of the mysterious body of Christ (cf. Eph 4:12), all of which is directed at the building up of the Church (cf 1Cr 14, 26) and not the same as the other services of the world (cf. Mt 20: 24-28). Service in The Holy Spirit is:
- Service in the unique spirit: People of the Holy Spirit are always vigilant of their own actions and words, as well as of others, in order to avoid separations or divisions within the church or community. Saint Vincent very clearly said about this: “Let us live simple and cordial to bothers and sisters so that people do not recognize who are superiors as we live together” (SV VI, 66). All disputes, disagreements, divisions are caused by the instigators of the devil. So, the people of the Holy Spirit are “pursuing what brings peace and what is built for one another” (Rom 14:19).
- Service selflessly for love: The Holy Spirit is the person of self-giving. He always urges us to serve for love, not demanding, not waiting for response, not afraid of disadvantage, not closing before an ungrateful, not depressed before an indifferent, “please serve as if serving God, not man” (Ep 6,7). Saint Louise de Marillac taught the Daughters of the Charity: “My dear sisters, you see yourself as mules of the house.”
- Service in modestly and silently: The Holy Spirit is like the depth of God, so it does not accept the surface fanfare, not the way of expressing oneself through good deeds. He is always hidden in the face, but still quietly, light, without imposing. Let us think about this by Saint Vincent: “don’t think about the history of oneself, but the history of the poor and of the community” (SV I, 185). Service is the attitude of the servant not by character of the governments, we always recognize ourselves as “useless servant, doing only our duty” (Lk 17:10).
- Service in the spirit of renunciation: renunciation is a prerequisite of the disciple of Christ, and also the final focal point in becoming conformed to him (cf Mc 10.45). It can not serve by emotion or personal preference, as it is served arbitrarily and improperly. Nor can it serve as criticism, resistance, insistence follow our ideal. Saying this does not mean not giving constructive suggestions, not expressing the right view, not evaluating and revising. Saint Vincent’s experiences show, “seek advice, know that God speaks through others” (SV IV, 35)… But it is important to know what to give up so that the Holy Spirit can bring new life for our community.
- Service in the spirit of renunciation is also serving in poverty as Jesus (Lk 9: 58), who chose the way of the cross. He himself firmly refused the path of success, power, influence and power. He chose the path of inferiority, of humility, of powerlessness, of the path of the poor. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me. He has anointed me, to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives, and new sight to the blind, to free the oppressed, and to announce the Lord’s year of mercy” (Lk 4,18-19). The very characteristic of the person of the Holy Spirit is that of a poor man: choosing failure rather than power, choosing to be despised rather than fame, choosing to bear fruitlessly, not praises, and only to be recognized and loved by God.
We Vincentians are also invited become the person of the Holy Spirit. Following the Vincentian Charism helps us to better serve the poor. So, everyone needs the Holy Spirit to direct us in everything so that we can live and serve others in the Vincentian spirit.
Tags: Holy Spirit, Minh Trieu