At a time when the beautiful colors of Autumn show us nature’s radiance before the changes of “letting go”, we Vincentians begin a new fiscal year and other new ventures that could bring some “growing plains!” That’s a good thing! Having just celebrated the feast of our patron, St. Vincent de Paul and the commissioning rites of new Servant Leaders for SVDP in our archdiocese, we look for new ways to grow together in holiness, friendship and service to our neighbor-in-need.
Presidents and Spiritual Advisors, both facilitators, work closely together to prepare the meeting time and agenda that help us grow in the essential elements of our vocations as Vincentians. Vincentian friends meet weekly or at least twice each month to be strengthened in faith and love so that so that we may respond with compassion and love to relieve the suffering of a neighbor-in-need. These are not our “clients” but our brothers and sisters in whom we see the face of Christ.
This is why it is important to give adequate time at the beginning of a meeting to pray, reflect and share insights that will help our companions know us, our Vincentian hearts, and an insight of how God may be revealed in our daily lives of prayer and service. Pope St. John Paul II said, “Prayer is the first and greatest work of charity that we must do for our brothers and sister.”
Rather than rush through our familiar prayers so that the “business” may be done in an efficient manner, let’s try to give one another some time for silence, for reflection and shared responses on that reflection. That sharing may help our understanding of gospel service and the ways of Jesus. Servant leaders set the tone for growth, inspiration and discernment. Our Rule, in 2.2 calls us to this:
Vincentians …promoting a life of prayer and reflection, both at the individual and community level, sharing with their fellow members. Meditating on their Vincentian experiences offers them internal spiritual knowledge of themselves, others and the goodness of God. How have you experienced God’s goodness most recently? O God, may our mountains and growing plains give you praise and thanks!
Praying and growing with you!
Sister Noreen Ellison, SC
Associate Spiritual Advisor