Leave God for God

by | Feb 5, 2024 | Formation, Reflections

I have often marveled at how contemporary the teachings of St. Vincent DePaul are in today’s world.  He truly was a man of his times, but also a prophet whose wisdom remains with us today.

Speaking to the Daughters of Charity, St. Vincent DePaul said, “If…you’re free to spend a little time in mediation or spiritual reading, very well.  But…don’t become upset, nor think you’ve failed, for it’s not lost when you leave it for a legitimate reason.  And if there is ever a legitimate reason, dear Sisters, it’s the service of the neighbor.  To leave God for God is not leaving God at all, that is, to leave one work of God to do another, either of greater obligation or of greater merit.”

What meaning does this have for MISEVI today as we prepare for an Extraordinary Assembly in Bogota, Colombia in April of this year?  How are we called to “leave God for God?”

Members of the 18 National MISEVI organizations are called to center their ministry to those who are poor or living in the margins by ongoing Spiritual formation.  This includes personal prayer, spiritual reading, local gatherings to pray together and to learn about the Vincentian charism, and retreats to help us always return to our Source of Life, God, who guides us on our mission.

It has been so heartening to hold 5 virtual meetings during these last two years as we shared about the local ministry work that is being accomplished in different countries.  It has been inspiring to recognize the mission of MISEVI alive and active in many parts of the world.  It is challenging to understand work that is yet to be done and how we can continue to collaborate as Lay Vincentian Missionaries.

As we assemble in Colombia, we are relying on the Holy Spirit to guide us through a synodal process.  We are relying on the prayerful preparation of each participant.  We are relying on the words of St. Vincent, calling us to an awareness of when God is calling us to leave God for God.  We are relying on ongoing conversion, so necessary in our active call to be missionary people, offering what we can while receiving the gifts of the ones we encounter.  We are relying on God’s presence through the working of the Holy Spirit.  We ask for your continued prayers!

Mary Frances Jaster