Fix Your Eyes on God – The Pardon Prayer – Vincentians Need Their Faith – Gospel – JOHN 16:16-20
Vincentian Day of Prayer and Fast
Fix Your Eyes on God
O gracious Parent! Elevate our souls, and give us access to thy sublime throne, that stable seat of pure delight! All earth-born cares remove; dispel the mists of sense; and with a ray from heaven illumine our darkened minds. Allow us to see thy light; let us view the source of good unveiled; and, our eyes on thee, Lord. Humility is the mother of all virtues: purity, charity and obedience. It is in being humble enough to fix our eyes on God our love for God and poor will become real and devoted. If you are humble nothing will touch you or change you. Neither praise nor disgrace will move you from your Vincentian calling because you know what and who you are and who called you to serve Him in the poor. If you are taunted and blamed by others, you are saved because your Vincentian eyes are focused on God. The most important message to face is if people call you a Saint or angel and they do, dismiss it and don’t be in any hurry to build yourself a temple. God is our temple. He has called us to serve Him in the poor. Fix your eyes on Him. “Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.” – (Cheryl)
The Pardon Prayer
My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love You! I beg pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love You. The words of this prayer given to the young visionaries of Fatima may seem simple. But the words outline our responsibilities as Christians—to believe, to adore, to hope, and to love God. We must be ready to ask pardon for those we serve and others who do not act in this way. And further, to beg pardon for them. We should make reparation for their sins too. This is part of being a Vincentian working for God. The work can be heavy, heavenly, delightful and hard. The rewards are great. I love my work. I love the Refugees I serve and others who have fallen hard with no work, loss of income and loss of hope. I know one of my jobs is to bring joy back to the family and always give hope. We bring more than food to large families. We help bring education, fun days and special treats. I am so proud of my son, which I have said many times. He gives us $10,000.00 at Christmas to help bring joy. There is no restriction on what to spend it on. He also gives us additional grocery gift cards. We get to ask each person what they would like for Christmas. He also encourages his staff to help raise funds, buy gifts and gift wrap. We need more like him. Well his son is pretty good, too. He knew I was helping triplets and they all wanted Lego. He gave them a large amount of his and they really want to meet him.
Vincentians Need Their Faith
When I say this I do not mean you must be holier than thou. I mean in order to do God’s work and be His disciples for the poor we need faith. We truly need to believe he is with us. Faith is necessary to good works and good works are necessary to Faith. Works make Faith the source of Salvation and Faith makes the works worthy of merit. Without good works Faith is unproductive. Without Faith, good works are ineffective. The stronger the Faith the more copious the good works… plenty of good works increase the vitality of Faith. Pope St. John Paul II said that we don’t find ourselves until we lose ourselves in Christ. In other words, true happiness only comes from commitment and self-sacrifice. Throughout the Bible, we see a contradiction by the world’s standard spelled out over and over again. When we lose our life for love’s sake, we gain it back tenfold. That’s the heart of the Christian message, and it’s the only way we will reach our true destination – Heaven. “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” ~ Nelson Mandela
Jesus gently tells his disciples of his impending return to his Father in heaven. We tend to read the Ascension along essentially Enlightenment lines, rather than Biblical lines—and that causes a good deal of mischief. Enlightenment thinkers introduced a two-tier understanding of heaven and earth. They held that God exists, but he lives in a distant realm called heaven, from which he looks at a human project moving along pretty much on its own steam, on earth. On this Enlightenment reading, the Ascension means that Jesus goes up, up, and away, off to a distant and finally irrelevant place. But he Biblical point is this: Jesus has gone to heaven so as to direct operations more fully here on earth. That’s why we pray, “Thy kingdom come, they will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Jesus has not gone up, up, and away, but rather, if I can put it this way, more deeply into our world. He has gone to a dimension that transcends but impinges upon our universe. The Gospel teaches us so much. We need to try to read it each day. Or find your favorite Scripture and memorize and live it. God is closer to us than our own soul. Our God is the foundation on which the soul stands. Our soul sits in God and in true rest and our soul stands in God with true strength. Our soul is naturally rooted with God in endless love. Know this Vincentians, and live in the Gospel message.