St. Vincent de Paul Dayton https://stvincentdayton.org Wed, 27 May 2020 14:37:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.1 https://secureservercdn.net/50.62.174.113/042.5ad.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/cropped-favicon-1-32x32.png St. Vincent de Paul Dayton https://stvincentdayton.org 32 32 Vincentian Reflections: Pentecost Sunday, May 31, 2020 https://stvincentdayton.org/vincentian-reflections-pentecost-sunday-may-31-2020/ Sun, 31 May 2020 10:00:59 +0000 https://stvincentdayton.org/?p=7296 Gospel: (John 20: 19-23)  On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.”  When he had said this to them, he showed them his hands […]

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Gospel: (John 20: 19-23) 

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.”  When he had said this to them, he showed them his hands and his side.  The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.  Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.  As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”  And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” 

Reflection: 

Pentecost brings Jesus’ ministry to a focus: we are sent to continue Jesus’ ministry, armed with the Holy Spirit and specific instructions as to what we are to do: forgive. By his ascending into heaven and sending the Holy Spirit Christ makes his mission our mission. It is a great miracle that God chooses to make us real participants in God’s plan of salvation and sharers in God’s divine life. To forgive doesn’t mean to forget; it means to restore love.  This is the ministry for which the Spirit empowers us, and this is how we can live in peace. (Living Liturgy, p.150) 

Vincentian Meditation:

In his last days, Frederic… “would lie silent for hours with the Bible open by his side. One evening he lay thus, watching the sun sinking into the blue Mediterranean; his wife had drawn her chair a little behind him,…something in the extreme serenity of his countenance prompted her to ask which of all the gifts of God he considered the greatest. He replied without hesitating,… ‘Peace of heart; without this we may possess everything and yet not be happy; with it we can bear the hardest trials and the approach of death.’” (Ramson, Praying with Frederic, p.113)

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

When have we come to know the “Peace of heart” that comes from forgiving and being forgiven?

 Closing Prayer: 

We are temples of the Holy Spirit, carrying within us the power of God, so we pray:

-Spirit of God, show us the way.

            When we find it hard to forgive others,

-Spirit of God, show us the way.

            When we search for peace of heart,

-Spirit of God, show us the way.

            When we meet the broken-hearted,

                        -Spirit of God, show us the way.   Amen

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Vincentian Reflections: June 28, 2020 https://stvincentdayton.org/vincentian-reflections-june-28-2020/ Thu, 28 May 2020 10:00:46 +0000 https://stvincentdayton.org/?p=7304 Gospel: (Matthew 10:37-42)  Jesus said to his apostles: “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me.  Whoever finds his […]

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Gospel: (Matthew 10:37-42) 

Jesus said to his apostles: “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me.  Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.  Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me….And whoever gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones to drink because the little one is a disciple—amen, I say to you, he will surely not lose his reward.” 

Reflection: 

The heart of the paschal mystery is dying and rising.  Our own daily living can sometimes seem to have much more dying than rising. Even setting aside the issue of consciously choosing self-sacrifice, just the simple demands of our lives pull it out of us: feeding the infant in the middle of the night, ferrying the kids to soccer, helping with the homework when we are dog tired, cleaning the house and preparing meals, taking time to share some good thing with a spouse, calling and visiting an aging parent, helping the suffering and the poor.  One of the great encouragements of this Sunday’s gospel is that all this behavior—like giving “a cup of cold water”—may seem small to us, but to God they are actions that correspond to those of Christ. The message is that our generosity is far surpassed by God’s generosity. (Living Liturgy, p.188) 

Vincentian Meditation: 

To Vincent, a life of virtue was no accident. God gives the grace, but human effort is required to cultivate the virtue.  Habits of charity, hopefulness, and justice are built, not just wished into being.  Vincent knew that good intentions were insufficient responses to God’s grace. Virtue—a good habit, an inner readiness to accomplish moral good—had to become part of the fabric of life.  For instance, by acting patiently over and over in trying situations, a person may learn patience. Virtues such as patience are important in the full living of the Christian life. Vincent constantly made concrete suggestions about how to develop virtue.  From hard experience, he knew that definite dispositions had to be cultivated into the heart of the servant if the Gospels were to come alive through his or her hands. (McKenna, Praying with Vincent, p.70) 

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

What Vincentian virtues have you seen lived out in your Conference? 

Closing Prayer:

O God, you inspire the followers of Vincent to be virtuous,

-help us to serve always with respect and gentleness.

O God, you inspire the followers of Vincent to be servants of the poor,

-send us out in humility, simplicity and charity.  Amen

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The True Vincentian Calling: Comforting the Suffering https://stvincentdayton.org/comforting-the-suffering/ Wed, 27 May 2020 14:37:26 +0000 https://stvincentdayton.org/?p=7482 Human suffering took many forms in the wake of the 2019 Memorial Day tornadoes, seemingly afflicting those with the fewest resources to address the loss and the trauma.  A mother and two children, everything lost, sleeping under a picnic table in the park.  A young couple giving custody of their newborn to her grandmother because […]

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Human suffering took many forms in the wake of the 2019 Memorial Day tornadoes, seemingly afflicting those with the fewest resources to address the loss and the trauma.  A mother and two children, everything lost, sleeping under a picnic table in the park.  A young couple giving custody of their newborn to her grandmother because they were living in their car. A senior woman recently diagnosed with breast cancer facing extensive home repairs.

In the spirit of their vocation, hundreds of our neighborhood St. Vincent de Paul volunteers moved into action, understanding the tornado devastation as opportunity to see the face of Christ in others and for others to see the face of Christ in them. The St. Vincent de Paul volunteers came from the entire region—and even from other Ohio cities—to serve, provide guidance and support, and to pray with the tornado survivors.

These Vincentian volunteers took the front lines for weeks in the area’s Trotwood, Salvation Army, and FEMA Emergency Response Centers, where they provided gas and grocery cards; vouchers for clothing, furniture, and household items; and advice for getting additional assistance. Many survivors just wanted to talk about what happened as they processed the trauma of the tornado and the uncertainty of the future.

One volunteer recalls the difference $5 made, a turning point for a family who had fallen between the cracks.  Months later, the mother wrote to him, describing her gratitude: “The teamwork at SVdP, helping with furniture and household items and clothing for my children, was the most spiritual sight I’ve ever seen.” One Vincentian recalls, “We met in parking lots, motel lobbies, and in their homes as we prayed with them, cried with them, and supported them.”  Another recalls hand holding and shared prayers. And she hopes these precious souls know they still remain prayerfully in her heart.

St. Vincent de Paul in Dayton remains at the forefront of the Memorial Day tornadoes relief and recovery efforts, and the support provided by the community –in volunteerism, financial gifts, and collaborative agency partnerships – has made that possible. We thank you for the difference you made in the lives of many Daytonians throughout this emergency!

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Out of the Storm, Into Recovery: Jill’s Story Part II https://stvincentdayton.org/jill-part-2/ Mon, 25 May 2020 15:25:01 +0000 https://stvincentdayton.org/?p=7464 “The morning after the tornadoes, when daylight was upon us, and I got a good look at the back of the house all blown out. What the tornado did not carry away was thrown everywhere, but there wasn’t a piece of clothing, a toothbrush, a hairbrush, or a pair of shoes to use. What it […]

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“The morning after the tornadoes, when daylight was upon us, and I got a good look at the back of the house all blown out. What the tornado did not carry away was thrown everywhere, but there wasn’t a piece of clothing, a toothbrush, a hairbrush, or a pair of shoes to use. What it didn’t suck out was inches of insulation, which was everywhere and very itchy.

“I called a friend from work at St. Vincent de Paul and told her my house was pretty much gone. When my friends from St. Vincent arrived they had food and water, boxes to pack things, and a piece of blueberry lemon pie someone in the office had made.  It was the first ‘food food’ that I had in my mouth. It was gone in two seconds. I devoured it. I had really bad manners! It’s funny, the last thing you are thinking about is food even though it is something you need.

“What I needed most was somebody loving and caring enough to come check on us. When my SVdP friends showed up, it was such a blessing. One of them just sat with me and held my hand. We prayed together. They helped me think more rationally than I was. They saw that my number one worry was my animals. I knew I could survive with Gods’ grace, but I am all my pets have. Once we got my animals were carriers and cages, I knew I could take them anywhere.  Once that was settled, one of my friends said, “Jill, you cannot stay in this house.’

“So, we started going through what was left to pack. It seemed like that tornado took every single thing. But wouldn’t you know there were two pictures still on the back wall hanging from a tiny nail?  One of my dad, and one of my grandson squeezing my face, and me laughing. I was so grateful and thankful. It felt like hitting the lottery.

“We ended up staying in the house for a few more days, then we got into a hotel. Those were days without toothbrush, hairbrush, or clothes. Just finally taking a shower helped our thinking and our souls. The same day we moved into the hotel I went back to my job at SVdP.  I was given shoes and clothing from the clothing closet there, and other items from friends, so we were set as far as things that were needed.

“Once we got more settled, I thought ‘What can we do to help someone else?’ My saving grace was helping others. That was how I stared crawling my way out of this. So many people helped. When a church blessed us with a check, well, you gotta pay that back, so that’s what we did. God saw fit to do with me – in spite of me – no matter what. I’m in recovery and when you tackle hurdles like that, you want to give back because there are people who are stuck like you were, and you just want to help them. How do you not help when you see people who lost everything? We just bought what we needed when we came up out of our basement, like coolers and supplies, then we went and started handing them out. We even included a pen and paper because insurance has you write down all the things you lost.

“And people were so kind to us. I got help from people through SVdP, and a group of good people gave me a check after they saw me and my house on the news. At that point we were broke broke. And then there came that check. I was so grateful. It is hard to accept things because so many people needed so much more, but that right there kept us afloat. We could buy gas and eat. We were in hotels for four weeks, then we moved into a rental house.

Now a year later, how is the tornado still affecting your life?

“I realized I can lose everything and bounce back. It showed me what a fighter and survivor I really am: it was not easy, but we got back in our home in November.  There are definitely some scars. When it is getting ready to storm, I make sure all my animals are tucked in. I do a lot of praying. I see where my kids are in advance.

“But, oh my gosh, all kinds of good things came out of it. The faith I have in the Lord is number one. Because when all my prayers were answered—my family was all okay—it was evident. I have gotten a lot of good friends out of this experience. I am closer to my neighbors. I’m more appreciative of our police.  I am grateful for my job and work harder at it. I’m even a better pet owner!

“I have an appreciation for humanity and how many people respond when they are called. Through these tornadoes, I learned all about the kindness of people.

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My Night of Tornadoes: Jill’s Story Part I https://stvincentdayton.org/jill-part-1/ Sun, 24 May 2020 17:43:46 +0000 https://stvincentdayton.org/?p=7460 “The evening of Memorial Day, 2019 started out as a regular night. We had a chill night—my husband Jason and I and Cash, one of my dogs, were sitting on the front porch. We had no idea storms were coming in. Then the skies went dark. When the rain started, I got the dog and […]

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“The evening of Memorial Day, 2019 started out as a regular night. We had a chill night—my husband Jason and I and Cash, one of my dogs, were sitting on the front porch. We had no idea storms were coming in. Then the skies went dark. When the rain started, I got the dog and cats in, and the patio furniture tied up.

“We went inside, turned on the TV, and the weather started breaking in. The whole screen got red and there was talk about tornado warnings. All I heard them say was Phillipsburg, Troy, Vandalia—where each of my children and my grandkids live. I could tell by the announcer’s voice that they were real storms and tornados, so I started calling and texting my kids.  I got them to take it seriously, and they all got to shelter. Not one time did I hear that tornado was coming right at us because I was just terrified for my kids.

“From our living room you can see a big 50-foot tree in my neighbor’s yard, and it was blowing back and forth and touching the ground. Jason opened our side door, saw the rotation, and yelled, “Get in the basement!” And I grabbed Cash by the leash and one of my cats and ran down in the basement and dove on the floor, with Jason right behind me.

“All hell was breaking loose. You just heard big, heavy, thuds. I did not hear the train they talk about, but I heard thuds from things slamming into the house. Then all of a sudden, this fury broke loose and it was just this giant gust of wind, and that tornado came right through. You can’t really see it, but you can feel it. Later I would learn sounds I was hearing was the doors blowing off, the windows breaking and the back of the house blowing out.

“I could see glass and dirt and leaves just coming right down the basement stairs. I had no clue that the back of the house was gone. I had no clue we had just lost everything. Once it was through, it got dead quiet. It was so ungodly dark. I came up from the basement; the door at the top of the stairs was all mangled and the kitchen window was gone.

“I looked to my left and our walls were gone. Our kitchen was in our living room, and our living room was outside. There was so much debris and glass. The microwave looked like it got blown up with a bomb. The stove ended up in the living room, right where we had been sitting 30 seconds before the tornado.  And that 50-foot tree was uprooted and now in our yard.  I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I just cried and cried. My little grandson’s things that I keep as mementos were all gone except for one yellow duck that he made out of paper plates. And I still have that.

“Thank you, Jesus in Heaven, that my dogs and cats were all okay. We just looked around our house and yard. All the cars were totaled. I had a huge breakdown then because I thought, ‘How in the world am I going to keep my animals?’ My mind was trying to do the best it could, but I just kept thinking about my animals.  I was thinking maybe we’d all just live in the car. Then I realized there wasn’t a window in anything.

“Around the neighborhood I saw flashlights waving around and people yelling “Is everybody OK? Anyone hurt?’ It was everybody checking on everybody. All you could do was just stand there as a community and just look. Some time later, we saw hundreds of little tiny lights bouncing, getting closer, coming our way. It was rescue crews from all over. We were so glad to see them!  I realized I didn’t see my 80-year-old neighbor from across the street and told an officer.  He kicked his door in—the bedroom was all caved in. Wouldn’t you know he had slept right through it? He was okay.

“About 5:00 A.M. I just couldn’t sit and look at it anymore. Although we were covered in sweat and insulation and very uncomfortable, somehow we fell asleep in the bedroom that was left, and the animals slept in the bathroom that was left. I remember having that moment where I just stopped everything and I thanked God for my life, for my neighbors and that my kids were safe and that my animals were safe. Even though I was in a home full of big holes, everything that mattered to me was still here.”

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2019 Tornadoes: An Avalanche of Needs https://stvincentdayton.org/avalanche-of-needs/ Thu, 21 May 2020 23:43:17 +0000 https://stvincentdayton.org/?p=7440 The post 2019 Tornadoes: An Avalanche of Needs appeared first on St. Vincent de Paul Dayton.

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The area surrounding Queen of Martyrs Parish in North Dayton is filled with hard-working families not used to needing nor asking for help. That self-sufficiency was tested a year ago when a devastating F4 tornado, carrying 170 mph winds, left a path of destruction in its wake. Homes, businesses and the church campus itself were severely damaged or destroyed.

Photo by Curtis Kneblik via The Catholic Telegraph

Louann Geel, president of the SVdP neighborhood volunteers at this parish, recalls the devastating aftermath for so many families who existed just outside that bubble of self-sufficiency. “It was an avalanche of needs. We had so many people displaced who needed help. At first, I thought if they didn’t lose their house, they were good. But not true. People lost electricity so they lost the food they had for the month. People couldn’t work because where they worked was damaged or without power for weeks. And for many, after missing even two weeks of pay – all of a sudden you can’t pay for food or rent or utilities.”

With so much need, a group in at Queen of Martyrs Parish began the work of rebuilding the church itself. At the same time, a small but mighty group of ten SVdP neighborhood volunteers ministered to the needs of their neighbors. They rented motels for temporary housing, paid rental home deposits, funded furniture vouchers, provided food and clothing, and paid electrical bills. Says Louann, “People didn’t want to ask for help, but after they did, we were able to help them shift from being on that bubble, to being outside that bubble.”

In all, the ten Queen of Martyrs SVdP volunteers directly helped over 95 families.

Louann is quick to point out that they did not do this alone.  “The SVdP Dayton District paired us with three other St. Vincent groups – from St. Albert the Great, Incarnation and St. Anthony, and they stepped up.  They helped us with donations, with manpower, and with manning calls. Plus, we received donations from parishes all over Ohio.”

In the five years Louann has been involved in the SVdP neighborhood conference this is by far the biggest need they’ve had to meet. These St. Vincent neighborhood ministers see this work as God’s grace through their hands. “Some of us have been blessed with so much more than others,” explains Louann, “and we see it as our responsibility to help each other up the mountain.”

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The Longest I’ve Ever Been Anywhere—and Making It https://stvincentdayton.org/donny-and-his-garden-at-key-terrace/ Sun, 17 May 2020 18:57:39 +0000 https://stvincentdayton.org/?p=7420 The post The Longest I’ve Ever Been Anywhere—and Making It appeared first on St. Vincent de Paul Dayton.

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Donny H. says his apartment and the new garden at Key Terrace in Kettering have given him roots for the first time in a long time.

Key Terrace is a permanent supportive housing complex — owned by Miami Valley Housing Opportunities, with supportive services offered by St. Vincent DePaul — for people who have struggled with homelessness. Donny, who was homeless on and off for 20 years, has lived there since 2017. Last summer he took charge of a 16-by-16-foot raised garden, a new project of the Five Rivers MetroParks community garden program.

The flourishing garden allowed him to develop a deeper sense of self and independence. While other residents dabbled in the garden, said Dianna Shepherd, a Key Terrace case manager, Donny put in most of the work. “This was like his baby,” she explained. “He built our garden bed. He planted it and watered it, and he weeded it.”

Since the garden got a late start, the crops were late bloomers, but the garden soon overflowed with sunflowers, collard greens, spinach, mustard greens, beans and pumpkins. Donny expected to put seeds in the ground earlier this year to grow early-season plants like tomatoes and lettuce as well. Donny looked forward to sharing the fruits of his labor with the other residents in hopes that they would use it to experiment with new recipes and encourage them to connect with their community garden.

Shepherd hopes the other residents will be eager to participate in 2020. Donny hopes so, too, and planned on expanding the successful project. He wants to build a second raised bed, to create more opportunities for other residents to have the same experience he did. “This is the longest I’ve ever been anywhere at one time and making it,” he explained.

Donny is home now, planting his roots.

Thank you to Five Rivers Metroparks for helping our SVdP residents establish a new garden project and for reporting to the community.

 

Make a donation to support Donny and others as they plant their roots:

 

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Vincentian Reflections: May 17, 2020 https://stvincentdayton.org/vincentian-reflections-may-17-2020/ Sun, 17 May 2020 10:00:57 +0000 https://stvincentdayton.org/?p=7292 Gospel: (John 14:15-21)  Jesus said to his disciples: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows him. But you know him, […]

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Gospel: (John 14:15-21) 

Jesus said to his disciples: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows him. But you know him, because he remains with you, and will be in you.  I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.  In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me, because I live and you will live.  On that day you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you.  Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me.  And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father and I will love him and reveal myself to him. 

Reflection: 

Jesus tells us that we keep God’s commandments because our love for God has established a deep and intimate relationship between us and God that spills out in acts we know will be pleasing to the Beloved.  Rather than burdensome laws, then, commandments are concrete expressions of our love for God and each other.  On our own it is impossible either to know God or love God, and that is why Jesus promises us the Spirit will come.  If we wish to grow into our love for God we must become attentive to the Spirit who dwells within us. We get to know the Spirit within us by being faithful to prayer, finding the presence of God within, realizing his goodness and cultivating grateful hearts. (Living Liturgy, P.138)

Vincentian Meditation: 

“Upon awakening, may my first thoughts be of God.  May I make acts of adoration, thanksgiving and abandonment of my will to His most holy will. Reflecting on my lowliness and powerlessness, I shall invoke the grace of the Holy Spirit in which I shall have great confidence for the accomplishment of His will in me, which shall be the sole desire of my heart. (Gibson and Kneaves, Praying with Louise, pp. 50-51) 

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

In what ways have we seen the Holy Spirit leading, guiding and protecting us? 

Closing Prayer: 

            Lord, make us attentive to your Spirit dwelling within us, as we seek to do your will:

When we are weighed down by burdens,

Send us your Spirit!

            When we have difficult choices to make,

Send us your Spirit!

            When we need hope and peace,

Send us your Spirit!

            When we forget your presence among us,

Send us your Spirit! Amen.

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Vincentian Reflections: May 10, 2020 https://stvincentdayton.org/vincentian-reflections-may-10-2020/ Sun, 10 May 2020 10:00:10 +0000 https://stvincentdayton.org/?p=7288 Gospel: (John 14:1-12)  Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not let your hearts be troubled.  You have faith in God; have faith in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I […]

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Gospel: (John 14:1-12) 

Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not let your hearts be troubled.  You have faith in God; have faith in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.  Where I am going you know the way…I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  If you know me, then you will also know my Father.  From now on you do know him and have seen him…Whoever has seen me has seen the Father…Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?…Amen, amen I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father.” 

Reflection: 

Jesus is the Way-the Truth-and the Life, because of his relationship with the Father. The good news is that when we relate to Jesus, we are relating to God. And when we encounter the risen Christ we encounter God.  We encounter the risen Christ by doing the works of Christ and by recognizing Christ in the other.  Thus the challenge here is that our baptism plunges us not only into a relationship with the Triune God but also with each other.  Therefore, our belief in the resurrection and the good news of salvation isn’t something that stays in our heads but is played out concretely in the way we treat others in justice, mercy, forgiveness, and love. That is the good news! (Living Liturgy,p.134)

Vincentian Meditation: 

Vincent said: “To make God known to the poor, to tell them that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand and that it is for the poor. O how great that is, so sublime is it to preach the gospel to the poor that is, above all, the office of the Son of God.  (McKenna, Praying with Vincent, p. 41) 

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

In what ways has our service in justice, mercy, forgiveness and love spread the “good news,” and made “God known to the poor?” 

Closing Prayer:

            Risen Lord, your resurrection brought joy to all believers,

-give joy to those who live in sadness.

            Risen Lord, your resurrection brought hope to all believers,

-give hope to those who live in despair.

            Risen Lord, your resurrection formed a community of believers,

-give us true love for one another.

            Risen Lord, you are one with your Church on earth,

-hear our prayers for all those in need. Amen.

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Vincentian Reflections: May 9, 2020 https://stvincentdayton.org/vincentian-reflections-may-9-2020/ Sat, 09 May 2020 10:00:33 +0000 https://stvincentdayton.org/?p=7286 Feast of Saint Louise De Marillac Gospel:  (Matthew 25: 31-46)  The King will say to those on his right hand, “ Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take for your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world.  For I was hungry, and you gave me food; I was thirsty […]

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Feast of Saint Louise De Marillac

Gospel:  (Matthew 25: 31-46) 

The King will say to those on his right hand, “ Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take for your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world.  For I was hungry, and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you made me welcome; naked and you clothed me, sick and you visited me…I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it to me.” 

Reflection: 

Louise de Marillac, (1591-1660), married Antoine LeGras and they had a son whom they named Michel, but at the age of 34 she became a widow.  Vincent de Paul became her spiritual director and under his guidance she began caring for the poor and visiting the Confraternities of Charity.  Vincent and Louise co-founded the Company of the Daughters of Charity, and dedicated them to serve the poor with humility, simplicity and charity. In 1960, Pope John XXIII proclaimed Louise the patron saint of all Christian social workers.

Vincentian Meditation: 

“Above all, be very gentle and courteous toward your poor.  You know that they are our masters and that we much love them tenderly and respect them deeply.  It is not enough for these maxims to be in our minds; we must bear witness to them by our gentle and charitable care.”-St. Louise de Marillac- (Gibson and Kneaves, Praying with Louise, p. 72) 

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

Share the ways that you see the poor being served today in the spirit of Louise-in gentleness… loving them tenderly and respecting them deeply? 

Closing Prayer:   

            Compassionate Christ, Louise ministered to the needs of your people,

-give us courage to walk in her footsteps.

            Suffering played a painful part in Louise’s growth in holiness,

-give us eyes of faith to see Your presence in our suffering.

Louise’s heart was fashioned through her friendship with Vincent,

                        -give  us friends whose love transforms our hearts to love you more.

            You inspired Louise with a great love for the poor and the abandoned,

-grant us the grace to serve those whose lives touch ours with the same  spirit of love and courage.

May the Vincentian Family continue to grow and multiply throughout the world,

                        -so that the poor will know God’s love in a tangible way.  Amen 

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