By Sunnie Lain, Director of Conferences and Community Outreach.
FEAST OF SAINT VINCENT DE PAUL
Gospel: (Mt. 5:1-9)
When Jesus saw the crowds he went up on the mountainside…his disciples gathered around him, and he began to teach them: “How blest ate the poor in spirit: the reign of God is theirs. Blest too are the sorrowing; they shall be consoled. Blest are the lowly; they shall inherit the land. Blest are they who hunger and thirst for holiness; they shall have their fill. Blest are they who show mercy; mercy shall be theirs. Blest are the single-hearted, for they shall see God. Blest too the peacemakers; they shall be called children of God…”
St. Vincent de Paul’s gift for integrating service with a profound life of prayer is one of his greatest attractions to contemporary Christians. Vincent’s mix of praying and doing has appealed to tens of thousands of believers over the last three centuries. He is still a valued spiritual companion for people who :
• struggle to integrate prayer and meditation with service to their needy neighbor;
• become exhausted by their activity instead of being nourished by it;
• have seen God in the eyes of poor, sick, homeless, despairing people.
Vincent will be a good companion to anyone who seeks balance between action and contemplation, organizing good works and relying on divine providence, intelligent activity and trusting surrender. (McKenna, Praying with Vincent, p. 13-14)
Frederic wrote about his patron, Saint Vincent de Paul: “A patron …is a model one must strive to imitate, as he himself imitated the model of Jesus Christ. He is a life to be carried on, a heart in which one’s own heart is enkindled, an intelligence from which light should be sought; he is a model on earth and a protector in heaven. A two-fold devotion is owed him, imitation and invocation…”(Ramson, Praying with Frederic, p. 38-39)
Discussion: (Share your thoughts on the readings after a moment of silence)
How has Vincent’s heart enkindled your own heart?
St.Vincent de Paul, apostle and witness of the charity of Christ,
-help us to abandon ourselves to God’s Providence, and
faithfully discovering his action in all the events of our lives.
St.Vincent de Paul, servant of the poor,
-obtain for us a tender heart filled with compassion for the
distress and suffering others.
St.Vincent de Paul, accompany us in our service.
-so that in our work, our families, and in our parishes we
become impassioned by his Gospel of love. Amen