Dear fellow Vincentians,
As the weather grows colder and wetter, there is less opportunity to enjoy the sunshine and outdoor activities. We all know that as the darkness of the day grows longer, dreary days are upon us.
Our moods can change with the change in weather, but other things in life can have a significant impact on our energy level and love of life.
As a Vincentian, are you weary? An odd and unexpected question perhaps, but one that pertains to those who spend time helping others, our neighbors in need.
Listening to accounts of homelessness, unpaid bills, illness, and stories of sadness and trauma can lead to dreading your participation as a Vincentian. Making decisions on how to help and how much can your conference afford can bring to the surface many different emotions.
Some may find themselves wanting to help everyone, others become more cynical. Our selfishness can kick in as we try to protect ourselves from being emotionally involved with a neighbor’s situation. Do we look for additional resources, do we adhere strictly to conference guidelines without exception, or are we abrupt, judgmental or condescending to those seeking assistance from SVdP?
As we look forward to the glorious days of winter, we need to find that same level of glory in our lives.
Reach out to the Vincentians in your conference. Address the issue of emotions and involvement in our neighbor’s lives. Acknowledge your weariness and in turn draw strength from your fellow Vincentians. Rely on the friendship and spirituality that flows within your conference. Think of ways that as a group you can celebrate what you do together. Contemplate how you can bring new people in as members. Work together to find the positive in helping others, rather than focusing on your reaction to their requests.
Our commitment to helping those in need is one to be treasured. What a wonderful way to serve the Lord! As always, we are all God’s children.
God bless all of you as you carry out the mission of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul,