A busy week of celebrations for us as Vincentians. Typically a feast day for a Saint (or Blessed) falls on the date of their death. Frederic actually died on September 8th but his feast day is moved to the 9th out of respect for the Feast of the Nativity. I don’t think he would mind giving room to the Blessed Mother. Also, his feast day now falls on the birthday of Blessed Sister Rosalie Rendu (September 9th), his friend and mentor.
Our readings this week addresses the issue of accountability and reconciliation with each other. Each of us – and our conferences – will face times of disagreement and even intense discussions bordering on disputes. Equally challenging, we will face tough conversations with clients from time to time. Given the nature of the work we are doing, this is to be expected. The question is how we deal with these issues. The readings give us the pathway forward. In Paul’s letter to the Romans, he reminds us that we are to ‘love our neighbor as our self.’ It begins with love grounded in respect, kindness and gentleness recognizing both the strengths and weaknesses of each person and situation. Second, as Jesus reminds us in the gospel, we should and must take everything to prayer for where two or three are gathered, there He is in the midst of them. It is our Lord Jesus who can lead us to resolution and reconciliation of differences. Finally, this is because prayer – true, consistent and intentional prayer opens our minds and hearts to God’s voice. Our Psalm reminds us that “If today you hear is voice, harden not your hearts.” When we come to the Lord, we must listen with open hearts and respond to his Divine Providence and guidance with humility and generosity of spirit. Simply put, we need to be God led and God inspired in all that we are about.
As Vincentians, do I always start in prayer for everything I am about to do? Do I ask God to help me to have an open and loving heart that I might be open to the help He wants me to offer to others? Do I always leave in friendship and love, even when we disagree?
Father, give me the grace and humility to love others as myself, recognizing within each person your presence. Allow me to set my pride aside so that I might see the full value of another’s thoughts and ideas. Help me to be continually in prayer with you Father, and to intentionally enter into prayer with others that you might be in our midst. Open my ears, my heart and my mind that I may listen to hear your voice and will for all things that I do. Allow me to be guided by your Spirit and to act in friendship and charity in all that you ask of me. I pray all of this in your Son’s name. Amen