Winter 2019 Edition of The Vincentian Newsletter

Posted March 18, 2019 by in All Posts

The Winter 2019 Vincentian was distributed in February and focused on the 32 Conferences of the Dayton Society of Saint Vincent de Paul.

The Manual of Saint Vincent de Paul describes the Conference as a “pearl of great price” and states that the Conference is where the strength of the Society lies.

This edition of our newsletter highlights the Conferences we have in Dayton, how they are organized, and what they do. We also share some stories about how our Conferences have touched the lives of people throughout the Miami Valley.

Click here to access The Vincentian and learn more.

 

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SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT

Gospel:  (Luke 9: 28-36)

 Jesus took Peter, John and James and went up the mountain to pray.  While he was praying his face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white….Peter and his companions had been overcome by sleep, but becoming fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him.  Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” But he did not know what he was saying.  While he was speaking, a cloud came and cast a shadow over them…Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my chosen Son, listen to him.” After the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone.

Reflection:

 The only way for us to “remain” in Jesus’ glory is to accept the baptismal challenge to recognize Jesus as the beloved Son and to “Listen to him.” This means that we take to heart gospel living.  This Sunday we are given a glimpse of glory to help us on our journey of a lifetime of self-emptying.  This tells us something about how we might keep Sundays.  If each Sunday is a day of rest, a time to be good to ourselves, to do something special that is uplifting, to enter into a moment of glory by praying, we would be better fortified to continue our journey.  (Living Liturgy, p.74)

Vincentian Meditation:

 Though God is utterly transcendent, do we not experience the self-communication of God at times? Looking back at times, do we not perceive that we have been transformed by events that were beyond our control, often by our contact with the poor, by their faith, their gratitude, their persistent trust in God’s presence and providence? Are there not “angels” who enter our lives and touch us deeply because of their authentic witness to the gospels, because of their persevering hope in the face of sickness, suffering and death?  Are there not occasions when we are deeply touched by the loyalty of friends, by their faithful love? Are these not ways in which we glimpse God’s freely-bestowed presence in our own human experience?  I suggest this Lent that we focus on growing in awareness of God’s self-gift, in its many expressions, and raise our hearts and voices to the Lord in gratitude. (Maloney, Go! On the Missionary Spirituality of St. Vincent de Paul, p. 99)

Discussion: (Share your thoughts after a moment of silence)

                     How have you experienced God touching your life?

 Closing Prayer:

            Christ appeared in the splendor of a vision to his disciples,        

                        -may we find the face of Jesus in ordinary events of our life.

            For all Vincentians who dedicate themselves to the service,

-may their love and justice transfigure the lives of the poor.

            We bring all of our petitions before God,

-may God’s face shine upon us. Amen

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FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT

Posted March 11, 2019 by in All Posts, Spirituality

Gospel: (Luke 4:1-13)

 Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days, to be tempted by the devil. …The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” Jesus answered: “It is written:, One does not live on bread alone.”…The devil then said to him, “I shall give to you all this power and glory…All this will be yours, if you worship me.” Jesus replied: “It is written: You shall worship the Lord, your God, and him alone shall you serve.” …Then the devil said to  him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written: He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you and with their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone.” Jesus said to him in reply, “It also says: You shall not put the Lord, you God, to the test.”  When the devil had finished every temptation, he departed from him for a time.

 Reflection:

Try as the he might by offering every attractive thing—wealth, power, esteem—the devil couldn’t prove stronger.  The gentle persuasion of prayer and fasting kept Jesus stronger and able to resist temptation.  Not even the Son of God was exempt from being tested!

Temptation, then, isn’t necessarily a sign of great sinfulness.  It is an occasion for showing that our lives are turned to God, for remaining steadfast in the faith that we profess. Lent isn’t simply our desert time to overcome temptation.  It is also a springtime of renewed relationship to God. It is a time when we are strengthened, with the gentle warmth of God’s Spirit leading us, to overcome even temptations to wealth, power, and esteem.  (Living Liturgy, p.70)

Vincentian Meditation:

 I urge you to reflect, during Lent, on the temptations that we inevitable meet as the Spirit guides us through the desert.  None of us is spared these.  The Spirit is a pillar of fire to lighten our path on the journey, but daily events  allure us to follow other pillars of fire as we wander through the desert.  But we find our hunger satisfied, our thirst quenched, only in the person of a loving, provident God who walks with us always.  This Lent all of us must ask ourselves: what is the greatest temptation I face as a follower of St. Vincent?

(Maloney, Go! On the Missionary Spirituality of St. Vincent de Paul, p. 95)

Discussion: (Share your thoughts after a moment of silence)
What is the greatest temptation you face as a follower of Vincent and Frederic?

Closing Prayer:

For the grace to be detached from wealth,

            –Jesus we turn to you.

            For the grace to be detached from power,

            –Jesus we turn to you.

            For the grace to be detached from esteem,         

Jesus we turn to you.   Amen 

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EIGHTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Posted March 4, 2019 by in All Posts, Spirituality

Gospel: (Luke 6:39-45)

Jesus said to his disciples: “Why look at the speck in your brother’s eye when you miss the plank in your own? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck from your eye,’ yet fail yourself to see the plank lodged in your own? Hypocrite, remove the plank from your own eye first; then you will see clearly enough to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

Reflection:

Most of us think that we have more forgiveness to give than to receive.  We like to think that more people are unfair or unjust to us than we are to them.  Because we think in that way, we find it hard to offer forgiveness, real forgiveness, to others.   We think much more of how hard it is for us to forgive than we do about the difficulty that others have in forgiving us.  We measure out our forgiveness like money, very carefully and with much calculation.  I doubt if we use the same care when we come to measuring the cost of that forgiveness which we expect and receive from others.  If we spent more time thinking about what it costs others to forgive us, rather than about what it costs us to forgive others, we would be more successful in taking resentment out of our hearts.  (McCullen, Deep Down Things, p.566)

Vincentian Meditation:

For Vincentians, who think much about the poverty and hunger in our country, and of what we could do to alleviate it, how much thought have we given to forgiveness? It is probably true that the very fact of the present unequal distribution of wealth in the United States causes resentment in the hearts of many of our poor brothers and sisters.  Where there is resentment, there is need for offering forgiveness.  So we, who have more of the world’s goods, may be more in need than we realize of receiving forgiveness. St. Vincent is quoted as saying that “it is only because of our love, only our love, that the poor will forgive us the bread we give to them.” Today, as in Vincent and Frederic’s day, people do  not  live  by  bread  alone.    The  bread  we  offer  must  be  seasoned  well  with  the condiments of justice and love. (McCullen, Deep Down Things, p.566-567)

Discussion: (Share your thoughts on the readings after a moment of silence)

How have you found that the poor indeed “forgive us” when we serve in love?

Closing Prayer:

When we feel resentment in our hearts,

-Lord, give us the grace to forgive.

When we see the speck in our brother or sister’s eye,

-Lord, give us the grace to see the plank in our own.

When we serve our poor brothers and sisters,

            –Lord, give us the grace to serve with love. Amen

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SEVENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

Posted February 21, 2019 by in All Posts, Spirituality

Gospel: (Luke 6:27-38)

Jesus said to his disciples: “To you who hear, I say: love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. To the person who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other as well, and from the person who takes you cloak, do not withhold even your tunic. Give to everyone who asks of you, and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you…Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give, and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap; because the standard you use will be the standard used for you.”

Reflection:

We have here, for those “who hear,” the deeper challenge beyond the Beatitudes. Not everyone can hear and live this challenge; this is why it is so difficult to establish God’s reign. Jesus lays out the concrete conduct that establishes the kingdom, and it truly is extraordinary in its demands. True this extraordinary way of relating to others isn’t normal! It is divine! God has acted toward us already with extraordinary kindness and mercy, already giving us a full measure of blessedness. Can we afford not to hear? (Living Liturgy, p.62)

Vincentian Meditation: All our lives we are preparing and choosing the sort of judge we will have at the end of our lives. It is the compassionate and understanding judgments which we make about others which are fashioning the judge we ourselves will meet at the moment of death. If our judgments have been harsh and unsympathetic toward others, then the judge we are choosing for ourselves at the end of our lives will be a harsh and unsympathetic one. We must draw that conclusion from our Lord’s own words: “…because the standard you use will be the standard used for you.” And so we can say, “With the judgment you pronounce you will be judged.” (McCullen, Deep Down Things, p.191)

Discussion: (Share your thoughts after a moment of silence)

What is the greatest challenge for you: To stop judging or condemning; or to be forgiving?

Closing Prayer:

When we are weighed down by burdens, -Give us the grace not to judge others. When we need hope and peace, -Give us the grace not to condemn others. When we forget your presence among us, -Give us the grace to forgive. Amen

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Quote of the Month December

Posted December 5, 2016 by in All Posts, Spirituality

Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. Luke 12:33

Invest in our Bed, Breakfast, and Beyond program.

St. Vincent de Paul is a faith-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization serving the Greater Dayton Area. We aid the homeless and impoverished by providing emergency shelter, transitional and permanent supportive housing, food, clothing and household items, and guidance on the path to leading a self-sustaining life. The Dayton District Council is made up of a variety of programs and services including 35 chapters, or Conferences, with volunteers operating out of local parishes and universities. We provide help to individuals and families who are on the brink of losing their housing, those who are currently homeless, and those working to secure and maintain permanent housing.

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Quote of the Month November

Posted November 7, 2016 by in All Posts, Spirituality

Dear brothers and sisters, the Church loves you! Be an active presence in the community, as living cells, as living stones. Pope Francis

Become active in our Bed, Breakfast, and Beyond program.

St. Vincent de Paul is a faith-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization serving the Greater Dayton Area. We aid the homeless and impoverished by providing emergency shelter, transitional and permanent supportive housing, food, clothing and household items, and guidance on the path to leading a self-sustaining life. The Dayton District Council is made up of a variety of programs and services including 35 chapters, or Conferences, with volunteers operating out of local parishes and universities. We provide help to individuals and families who are on the brink of losing their housing, those who are currently homeless, and those working to secure and maintain permanent housing.

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Quote of the Month October

Posted October 3, 2016 by in All Posts, Spirituality

Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. Deuteronomy 15:10

Give back through our Bed, Breakfast, and Beyond program.

St. Vincent de Paul is a faith-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization serving the Greater Dayton Area. We aid the homeless and impoverished by providing emergency shelter, transitional and permanent supportive housing, food, clothing and household items, and guidance on the path to leading a self-sustaining life. The Dayton District Council is made up of a variety of programs and services including 35 chapters, or Conferences, with volunteers operating out of local parishes and universities. We provide help to individuals and families who are on the brink of losing their housing, those who are currently homeless, and those working to secure and maintain permanent housing.

 

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