From the Deacon’s Desk:  Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts

September 6 – Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

We live in turbulent and uncertain times.  Tensions can run high even among friends.  Our readings this week addresses the issues of accountability and reconciliation with each other. Both are incredibly important in today’s world.  Each of us will face times of disagreement and even intense discussions bordering on disputes.   By being watchmen for each other, we find a message of hope through caring for one another and helping one another to navigate the challenges of life.  We are called to do so with honesty and truth (simplicity), with kindness, patience and mercy, and with respect and love for one another.  St.  Paul’s letter offers us the pathway forward. 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.  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 which opens our minds and hearts to God’s voice. Jesus never told us it would be easy – but he promises he will always be with us.   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, we will face tough conversations with clients from time to time as well.  This is particularly true during this time when resources are limited and need is enormous.  Given the nature of the work we are doing, this is to be expected.  The question is how we deal with these issues.  Do our hearts harden as tensions rise?  Or do I seek God’s mercy and compassion – God’s will in every situation?  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?  Do I come humbly, with patience and kindness in my heart?

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

Deacon Mike