lynnDo we see our own Poverty? – Go make a Difference! – Do you see Christ? – Are we Pharisees?

Lyn L’Heureux’s Vincentian Reflection for November 5, 2013

Dear Vincentian Brothers and Sisters:  We are already in November.  Where did this year go?  Well we still have time to make the balance of the year and each day a glorious tribute to God.  Enjoy the faith we have been given.  We bathe in the Grace poured out to us and because of all this we pray and are present to one another.  We try to be obedient and we go to great lengths or heights like Zacchaeus.  Our goal should be to go higher to get closer and get a better view of Jesus.  “Where there is no obedience, there is no virtue; there is neither goodness nor love. And where there is no love, there is no God. Without God, we cannot reach Heaven. These virtues form a ladder; if a step is missing, we fall down.  – Saint Padre Pio (1887-1968.  If we fall down, we climb up again and look to heaven.  Please pray for all in the Vincentian family and love your family.  We need to pray for one another and all we serve.  You are in my prayers.

Do we see our own Poverty?   We had a beautiful reflection at our Central Council meeting from a Franciscan priest who reminded us, the poor are with us always.  We seem to do battle with poverty and are required to defend it, even to those who claim to love the poor.  There is a common term, “deserving poor” (those who are in their situation through no fault of their own; illness, disaster, death of provider ECT.) and “undeserving poor” (generally described as those who are poor managers, have addictions or have made bad decisions).  My bishop spoke on this once a few years ago and it sticks in my mind.  So many of us fail to see our own poverty and we certainly do not see the poor in our own poverty.  The poor are with us always.  Poverty does not have to be a battle.  We are not elitists and we all need help.  There is no distinction when it comes to poverty.  We are called to help one another.  If we live the Gospel we know, God is good to all and treats us as equals.  We bring the Gospel with us and we share Jesus in our service and as St. Francis said, “We bring Jesus and the Gospel, and if necessary we use words”.  Our actions are the best.  This is the example we should follow.

Go make a difference!   I love that song and even though God did not give me the gift of a good singing voice, I truly belt this song out with gusto.  I generally leave Church with the pledge, “I am going to make a difference.”  Then someone does something stupid in the parking lot or on the drive home and I have to start all over.  We can make a difference if we learn to treat one another as equals.  I recognize it is not easy.  After all look how much better we are!  Really we are all equal in God’s eyes and should be in each other’s eyes.  We can make a difference.  We just have to see ourselves through the eyes of others.  We have to look in the mirror and see Jesus.  We have Jesus in us and we have to see Him and let others see Him.  Oh and by the way Jesus is in others, too.  We see Him and can then go make a difference.

Do you see Christ?  It is really important.  Zacchaeus was an example.  He was a tax collector, the greatest sinner of all.  He wanted to see Christ, so he climbed a tree.  He was ridiculed and scorned.  He was deemed “undeserving”.  He climbed the tree anyway.  It was important to see Jesus.  He was rewarded.  “Zacchaesus hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today.” (Luke 19:5)  Now the grumbling went on in the crowd.  I hear that grumbling sometimes and have to focus on seeing Christ.  I have to climb my ladder and ignore the crowd.  We all do, because as it says in the Gospel, “The Son of Man came to seek out and save the lost” (Luke 19: 10).  We are the lost!  We need to see Jesus and have Him come to stay with us. We have to see Him and cling to Him in the Eucharist.  This is where we can see Him, and bring Him to others to see.

Are we Pharisees?  Sometimes I’m a Pharisee and sometimes I am the tax collector, striking my chest and saying, “I am a sinner”.  The Pharisee looks up to God to proclaim the good things achieved and how he is not like the robber or tax collector.  The tax collector strikes his breast and says, “I am a sinner, forgive me, Lord”.  The Pharisee knows the rules and holds them up and questions God when things do not go right.  We have to cry out to God, “I am a sinner, forgive me.”

Have a great week and pray often.  If you can fast, offer it up for the Vincentian Family.  However, remember God does not desire our sacrifice as much as he desires our love and service to those He places before us.  Love and be loved.

If you know someone who would like to have this weekly prayer, please feel free to give them my email: and I will happily add them to my list.  Visit for a journey into the Vincentian family around the world.  Enjoy reflections quotes and videos.  It is a great place to visit.



Lynn  L’Heureux is Special needs co-coordinator & Advisor of the Society of St Vincent de Paul Calgary Alberta Canada

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