Thought for the Day – 27 September – The Memorial of St Vincent de Paul C.M. (1581-1660)
From “Conferences to the Priests of the Mission”
by St Vincent de Paul (Conference 207).
It is not enough to love God if my neighbour does not love Him.
“Our vocation is to go and enflame the heart of men, to do what the Son of God did, He who brought fire into the world to set it alight with His love. What else can we wish for, than for it to burn and consume all things?
Thus it is true that I have been sent not only to love God but also to make men love Him.
It is not enough to love God if my neighbour does not love Him. I must love my neighbour as the image of God and the object of His love and do everything so that in their turn men love their Creator who knows and considers them as His brothers, whom He has saved, I must obtain that they love each other with mutual love, out of love for God who loved them to the point of abandoning to death His very Son. So that is my duty. Now, if it is true that we are called to bear God’s love near and far, if we must set nations alight, if our vocation is to go and spread this divine fire in the whole world, if it is so, my brothers, if it is really so, how must I myself burn of this divine fire!
How can we give love to others, if we do not have it among us? Let us look if it is so, not generally but if each one has it within himself, in due amount, because if love is not on fire in us, if we do not love each other as Jesus Christ loved us and if we do not act as He did, how can we hope to spread such love throughout the world? You cannot give what you do not have. The precise duty of charity consists in doing to others what you reasonably would like done to yourself. Do I really behave towards my neighbour as I wish he would towards me?
Let us look at the Son of God. Only our Lord can be so taken by love for creatures so much as to leave His Father’s throne and take a body subject to infirmity. And why? In order to establish among us, with His word and example, the love of our neighbours. This is the love that led Him to the Cross and accomplished the wonderful work of our redemption. If we had a little of such love, would we stay here with folded arms? Oh! no, love can not remain barren, it urges us to obtain salvation and relief for others.”
Prayer for Vocations By St Vincent de Paul
O Lord, send good workers to Your Church, but may they be good! Send good missionaries to work in Your vineyard, labourers, O my God, such as they ought to be: utterly detached from themselves, their own comfort, and worldly goods. Let them even be few in number, provided that they are good. O Lord, grant this grace to Your Church. Amen.
Quote/s of the Day – 27 September – The Memorial of St Vincent de Paul C.M. (1581-1660)
“Perfection consists in one thing alone, which is doing the will of God. For, according to Our Lord’s words, it suffices for perfection to deny self, to take up the cross and to follow Him. Now who denies himself and takes up his cross and follows Christ better than he who seeks not to do his own will but always that of God? Behold, now, how little is needed to become as Saint? Nothing more than to acquire the habit of willing, on every occasion, what God wills.”
“…We have all been called by God to work on a masterpiece!”
“Extend your mercy towards others, so that there can be no one in need whom you meet without helping. For what hope is there for us if God should withdraw His Mercy from us?”
“With renewed devotion, then, we must serve the poor, especially outcasts and beggars. They have been given to us as our masters and patrons.”
“It is not enough to give soup and bread. This the rich can do. You are the servant of the poor, always smiling and good-humoured. They are your masters, terribly sensitive and exacting master you will see. And the uglier and the dirtier they will be, the more unjust and insulting, the more love you must give them. It is only for your love alone, that the poor will forgive you the bread you give to them.
One Minute Reflection – 27 September – Today’s First Reading: Ecclesiastes 1:2–11 – Thursday of the Twenty-fifth week in Ordinary Time, Year B – The Memorial of St Vincent de Paul (1581-1660)
What has been is what will be and what has been done is, what will be done..Ecclesiastes 1:9
REFLECTION – “Free your mind from all that troubles you; God will take care of things. You will be unable to make haste in this (choice) without, so to speak, grieving the heart of God because he sees that you do not honour Him sufficiently with holy trust. Trust in Him, I beg you and you will have the fulfilment of what your heart desires.”….St Vincent de Paul
PRAYER – Father, You endowed St Vincent de Paul with the spirit of an apostle to give himself to the poor and to the training of priests. Give us, good Lord, a share of the same spirit, that we may love what he loved and do as he taught. Fill us with hope and total trust and abandonment to Your Holy Providence. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, in union with the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. St Vincent de Paul, pray for us, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 27 September – The Memorial of St Vincent de Paul C.M. (1581-1660)
Prayer of Thanksgiving By St Vincent de Paul (1581-1660)
who gave us the law
to love our neighbour as ourselves,
who practised it
in such perfect fashion towards men,
let You Yourself be, O Lord,
Your eternal thanks!
O Saviour, how happy I am
to be in the state of loving my neighbour!
Grant me the grace
to acknowledge my good fortune,
to love this blessed state
and to ensure that this virtue,
may be revealed now,
tomorrow and always.
Saint of the Day – 27 September – St Vincent de Paul C.M. (1581-1660) “Great Apostle of Trumpets”
Excerpt from the His Holiness Pope Francis’ Message to the Vincentian Family on the Fourth Centenary of the Charism – 27 September 2017
“Vincent was always on the move, ever open to the discovery of God and himself. Grace entered into this constant quest, in his priestly ministry, he encountered Jesus the Good Shepherd in a striking way in the poor. On one occasion in particular, he was deeply touched by meeting the gaze of a man pleading for mercy and by the faces of a destitute family. There he saw Jesus himself looking at him, unsettling his heart and asking him no longer to live for himself, but to serve him unreservedly in the poor. Vincent would later call the poor “our lords and masters”(Correspondance, entretiens, documents XI, 349). His life then became one of unflagging service, even to his dying breath. A verse from Scripture showed him the meaning of his mission: “The Lord has sent me to bring the Good News to the poor” (cf. Lk 4:18).
Burning with the desire to make Jesus known to the poor, Vincent devoted himself passionately to preaching, especially through popular missions and by careful attention to the training of priests. He quite naturally employed a “little method”, speaking first by his life and with great simplicity, in a familiar and straightforward way. The Spirit used him as the means for a great outpouring of generosity in the Church. Inspired by the early Christians who were “of one heart and soul” (Acts 4:32), Saint Vincent founded the Confraternities of Charity, who cared for those in greatest need by living in communion and joyfully sharing their possessions, in the conviction that Jesus and the poor are the treasure of great price. As he loved to repeat, “When you visit the poor, you encounter Jesus.”
The “mustard seed” sown in 1617 grew into the Congregation of the Mission and the Company of the Daughters of Charity, then branched out into other institutes and associations and became a great tree (cf. Mk 4:31-32) which is the Vincentian Family. Everything, however, began with that mustard seed. Saint Vincent never wanted to be in the forefront but only a “seedling”. He was convinced that humility, gentleness and simplicity are essential for embodying the law of the seed that by dying gives life (cf. Jn 12:20-26). This law alone makes the Christian life bear fruit, for it teaches us that in giving we receive, by losing our lives we gain them and in hiddenness our light is best seen. Vincent was also convinced that this can only come about in union with others, as a Church and as the People of God. Here I cannot fail to mention his prophetic insight in recognising and appreciating the remarkable abilities of women, which flowered in Saint Louise de Marillac’s spiritual sensitivity and human understanding.
Jesus says, “Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me” (Mt 25:40). At the heart of the Vincentian Family is the effort to seek out “those who are poorest and most abandoned”, together with a profound awareness of being “unworthy of rendering them our little services” (Correspondance, entretiens, documents XI, 392). I pray that this year of thanksgiving to the Lord and of growth in the experience of your charism will prove an opportunity to drink from the source and to find refreshment in the spirit of your origins. Never forget that those wellsprings of grace streamed from faithful hearts, rock solid in love, “lasting models of charity” (Deus caritas est, 40). You will be filled with that same primordial freshness only if you look to the rock from which it all flowed forth. That rock is Jesus in His poverty, who asks to be recognised in those who are poor and have no voice. That is where He is to be found. When you encounter human weakness and broken lives, you too must be rocks – not hard and brittle, impervious to suffering but rather a sure support, steadfast amid the tempest and unshaken by adversity, because you “look to the rock from which you were hewn, to the quarry from which you were taken” (Is 51:1). You are called to go forth to the peripheries of human existence to bring not your own gifts but the Spirit of the Lord, the “Father of the Poor”. He has sown you throughout the world like seeds that spring up in dry land, like a balm of consolation for the wounded, a fire of charity to warm hearts grown cold by indifference and hardened by rejection.
Saint Vincent embodied this in his own life and even now he continues to speak to each of us and to all of us as Church. His witness invites us to keep moving, ever ready to let ourselves be surprised by the Lord’s gaze and His Word. He asks of us lowliness of heart, complete availability and humble docility. He prompts us to live in fraternal communion among ourselves and to go forth courageously in mission to the world. He calls us to free ourselves from complicated language, self-absorbed rhetoric and attachment to material forms of security. These may seem satisfactory in the short term but they do not grant God’s peace, indeed, they are frequently obstacles to mission. Vincent encourages us to invest in the creativity of love with the authenticity of a “heart which sees” (cf. Deus caritas est, 31).
Charity, in fact, is not content with the good practices of the past but aims to transform the present. This is all the more necessary today, given the complexity and rapid evolution of our globalised society, where some forms of charity or assistance, albeit motivated by generous intentions, risk abetting forms of exploitation and delinquency, without producing tangible and lasting benefits. For this reason, Saint Vincent continues to teach us the importance of reflecting on our practice of charity, developing new ways of drawing near to those in need and investing our efforts in formation.
His example also encourages us to make time and space for the poor, for the new poor of our time, of which there are so many and to make their worries and troubles our own. A Christianity without contact with those who suffer becomes disembodied, incapable of touching the flesh of Christ.
I pray that the Church and each of you, may be granted the grace to discover the Lord Jesus in our brothers or sisters who are hungry, thirsty, strangers, lacking clothing and dignity, sick and imprisoned, as well as in those who are uncertain, ignorant, persisting in sin, sorrowing, offensive, irascible and annoying. May you find in the glorious wounds of Jesus the vigour of charity, the blessedness of the seed that dies to give life, and the fruitfulness of the rock flowing with water. May you also find the joy of leaving yourselves behind, in order to go forth into the world, free of nostalgia for the past, fully trusting in God, and creative in the face of every present and future challenge. For love, in the words of Saint Vincent, “is infinitely creative”.…Vatican.va
St Adolphus of Cordoba
St Antonio de Torres
St Barrog the Hermit
St Bonfilius of Foligno
St Ceraunus of Paris
St Chiara of the Resurrection
St Deodatus of Sora
St Fidentius of Todi
St Florentinus the Hermit
St Gaius of Milan
St Hilary the Hermit
St Hiltrude of Liessies
Bl Jean-Baptiste Laborie du Vivier
St John of Cordoba
St Marcellus of Saint Gall
St Terence of Todi
Martyrs of Aegea – (3 saints)
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Crescencia Valls Espí
• Blessed Herminia Martínez Amigó de Martínez
• Blessed José Fenollosa Alcaina
• Blessed Maria Carme Fradera Ferragutcasas
• Blessed Maria Magdalena Fradera Ferragutcasas
• Blessed Maria Rosa Fradera Ferragutcasas
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