Vincentian Discipline of Prayer – JOHN 14:15-21 – JOHN 15:12-17 – Vincentians Remain Calm
Vincentian Day of Prayer and Fast
Vincentian Discipline of Prayer
The courage to live the call to share Jesus with others comes from a hope that gives way to the discipline of prayer. Prayer inspires a life of joyful dependence on the Lord, which allows us to see and recognize him at work in the most surprising of ways. And from a heart focused on God, blossoms are the thanksgiving that overflows into sharing Christ with a waiting world. In the Eucharist, we actually receive the Risen Jesus—an encounter that transforms and miraculously changes us into him. We experience the Love that is his very Person. “For my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him” (John 6:55–56). This is a revolutionary promise from the revealed words of Jesus himself! Remember that you can never be separated from the Being who gave you life. You were created by the Love that gives life to all things. Human love is a way to touch this greater Love. That is its purpose. “Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. It comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.” ~ John Wayne – Mary as a good mother teaches us to be, like her, capable of making definitive decisions; definitive choices, at this moment in a time controlled by, so to speak, a philosophy of the provisional. It is very difficult to make a lifetime commitment. And she helps us to make those definitive decisions in the full freedom with which she said “yes” to the plan God had for her life (cf. Luke 1:38). Let us ask Mary to help us fix our eyes intently on Jesus, to follow him always, even if this is demanding.
Vincentians, in today’s Gospel, Jesus promises to send us the Spirit of Truth who will make us intimate friends of God. The Holy Spirit is the love shared by the Father and the Son. We have access to this holy heart of God only because the Father sent the Son into the world, into our dysfunction, even to the limits of god forsakenness—and thereby gathered all of the world into the dynamism of the divine life. Those who live in Christ are not outside of God as petitioners or supplicants; rather they are in God as friends, sharers in the Spirit. And this spiritual life is what gives us knowledge of God, knowledge, if you will, from within. When the great masters of the Christian way speak of knowing God, they do not use the term in its distanced, analytical sense; they use it in the Biblical sense, implying knowledge by way of personal intimacy. This is why St. Bernard, for one, insists that initiates in the spiritual life know God, not simply through books and lectures, but through experience, the way one friend knows another. That knowledge is what the Holy Spirit facilitates. Mary as a good mother teaches us to be, like her, capable of making definitive decisions; definitive choices, at this moment in a time controlled by, so to speak, a philosophy of the provisional. It is very difficult to make a lifetime commitment. And she helps us to make those definitive decisions in the full freedom with which she said “yes” to the plan God had for her life (cf. Luke 1:38). Let us ask Mary to help us fix our eyes intently on Jesus, to follow him always, even if this is demanding.
Vincentians read the book of love and truth. Gospel of John instructs us in the way of loving others with God’s love. The whole of the Christian life is on display here: God is love. In other words, God is a self-emptying gift on behalf of the other. But this means, paradoxically, that to have God is to be what God is—and that means giving one’s life away. Now we see the link which Jesus suggests between joy and commandment: “This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.” Now we begin to understand the laws, commands, and demands of the Church. All are designed to make us more adept at giving ourselves away—more adept at love. Don’t steal; don’t kill; don’t covet your neighbor’s goods or wife; honor your mother and father; worship God. All of these commands—positive and negative—are meant to awaken and make possible love. We need to be embraced by God in the Gospel and throw ourselves upon God’s Mercy crying out – “My love is in Jesus. He is my strength, my leader and protector. He gives me liberty to serve those in need with His love and direction. He is always with us as we serve those in need and as we pray together. We fast to increase our determination in serving Him in the poor. He has called us and we come to Him in hope. He is our refuge and strength. We need to serve Him well in all who need hope and joy. He will give it to all who call on Him.
Vincentians Remain Calm
If we have to wait for long for anything, we feel stress rising within—a sure sign that impatience is getting the upper hand. And when we are impatient, we can lose our temper, act rashly, harm ourselves or others, or make a mess of that which we wanted to turn out well. We need to have joy in order to give it. The most important words we should live with are prayer, love, joy and forgiveness. We need to forgive ourselves and others. We also need to feel good about ourselves and remain calm. God is always with us. We need to feel His presence and talk to Him often. Nothing can defeat us if we are calm. When we serve those in need we discover many things we did not know. Each family is unique and they present us with humble hearts and desperation. We share what we can with them.