WEDNESDAY THE TWENTY-SEVENTH OF SEPTEMBER, 2017
* Vincent de Paul *
Almighty God, the strength of all who put their trust in you, grant unto us in the midst of the troubles of this mortal life, that, being confident in your wisdom and goodness and your abiding love, we may endure all things in a quiet spirit, seeking ever in the midst of the things of this world to meditate often upon the divine peace and the heavenly rest of the glorified spirits of light; and being held up by your mercy, may neither faint nor fear, but pass on, doing faithfully the duties of life, and, in our last hour, supported by the everlasting arms, we beseech you to guide us into the life everlasting. This we do ask, in the name of Jesus Christ our lord. Amen.
( George Dawson )
Where charity and love are, God is there.
Christ's love has gathered us into one;
let us rejoice and be pleased in him.
Let us fear and let us love the living God,
and may we love each other with a sincere heart.
Where charity and love are, God is there.
As we are gathered into one body,
beware, lest we be divided in mind.
Let evil impulses stop, let controversy cease,
and may Christ our God be in our midst.
Where charity and love are, God is there;
and may we, with the saints also,
see your face in glory, O Christ our God:
the joy that is immense and good,
unto the ages through infinite ages. Amen.
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
Vincent de Paul:
“Hard and repulsive, but for the grace of God”
Today Saint Laika’s remembers Vincent de Paul, a Roman Catholic priest who lived from the sixteenth into the seventeenth century in and around Paris, and left a legacy of caring for those in need that still is operating today.
Around these parts, when someone in need comes to our (Lutheran) door, and I have helped with what I can, I have been known to say, “Have you tried the Saint Vincent de Paul society, at the (neighbouring) Roman Catholic church?”
Very fitting, indeed, for living in the century after the Reformation, a less ecumenically friendly time, he instructed the members of his society that Protestants were to be treated as brothers and sisters, with respect and love, without patronage or condescension or contentiousness.
For Vincent, charity was a predominant virtue that was to be extended to all. He established charitable confraternities to serve the spiritual and physical needs of the poor and sick. He called upon the women of means in Paris to collect funds for his missionary projects particularly hospitals to serve the poor.
Vincent was by temperament a very irascible person. He said that except for the grace of God he would have been “hard and repulsive, rough and cross.” But he became tender and affectionate, very sensitive to the needs of others. He had an extraordinary capacity to connect with all types of people and to move them to be empowered by the gospel of Jesus. In the midst of the most distracting occupations his soul was always intimately united with God. Though honoured by the great ones of the world, he remained deeply rooted in humility.
Alongside the order of priests he founded, there arose an order of nuns called the "Daughters of Charity," devoted to nursing those who were sick and poor. Many babies were abandoned in Paris every year, and when Vincent saw some of them, he established an orphanage for them, and thereafter often wandered through the slums, looking in corners for abandoned babies, which he carried back to the orphanage.
He died on this day in 1660.
Scripture: in Saint Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, chapter one, verses twenty-seven to twenty-nine we read:
"But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, so that no one might boast in the presence of God."
... for peace in the world.
... for the poor, for those who live in slums and shanty-towns, for orphans and abandoned children.
... for the Daughters of Charity, for members of Vincent de Paul societies, for the Company of Mission Priests, for charities, for volunteers, for those who work in hospitals, for those suffering from leprosy, for prisoners and all under the patronage of Vincent de Paul.
... for travellers and those who work in the tourism industry. DETAILS
... for those killed or injured in an attack on a drug rehabilitation centre in the northern Mexican city of Chihuahua. DETAILS
... for those who have died and for those who mourn their passing.
... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.
... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.
... for ourselves.
THE LORD'S PRAYER
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.
From an address delivered by Vincent de Paul to the Company of Mission Priests:
In the sixty-seven years which God has allowed me upon earth I have tried over and over again to find out the best means of living in union with God and in charity with my neighbours. I have never found anything that helped as much as humility (the lowering of oneself below everyone else with the sense that one is really worse than others) and the refusal to judge anyone. For it is pride and self-love that winds us and makes us struggle for our own opinions against others.
We must never glance at what is good in ourselves, much less ponder over it, but we should search out what is wrong and what is lacking; this is an excellent way of remaining humble. No gift for winning souls nor any other capacity that is within us is our own; we are only agents for it, and it will not save us from perdition. However great the work that God may achieve by an individual, he must not be pleased with himself nor indulge in any sort of self-satisfaction; he ought rather to be all the more humbled, seeing himself merely as a clumsy tool of which God has condescended to make use, just as he did of Moses rod which wrought miracles but remained only a common rod a brittle stick.
How greatly I desire that God may give sufficient grace to this poor little company to make it humble, so that it may be founded and built upon humility, be centred on it, and fenced about by it. Let us not deceive ourselves, if we have not got humility we have nothing. By this I do not mean merely an outward semblance of humility, I mean far more that humbleness of heart which shall make us really understand that the world does not contain persons more to be despised than you and I; that the Company of the Mission is the weakest of all companies and the poorest, both in the number and in the quality of its members; we must be ready that the world should so regard us. In truth, if we wish to be admired we are wishing to have different treatment from that which Jesus Christ received. That would be intolerable conceit. What was said of the Son of God when he was upon earth? What standing did he have in the eyes of others He was regarded as a madman, as a rebel, as a fool and as a malefactor, although he was none of these. He went so far as to let himself be exchanged for Barabbas, who was a brigand and a murderer and a man of evil life.
O Saviour, how will sinners such as I am dare to appear in the light of thy holy humility when the Day of Judgment comes?
Loving God, we thank you for your servant Vincent de Paul, who gave himself to training clergy to work among the poor and provided many institutions to aid the sick, orphans and prisoners. May we, like him, encounter Christ in the needy, the outcast and the friendless, that we may come at length into your kingdom where you reign, one God, holy and undivided Trinity, for ever and ever. Amen.
May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
NOW LIGHT A CANDLE
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