S. Vincent de Paul| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
St. Vincent de Paul
The deathbed confession of a dying servant opened Vincent's eyes to the crying spiritual needs of the peasantry of France. This seems to have been a crucial moment in the life of the man from a small farm in Gascony, France, who had become a priest with little more ambition than to have a comfortable life.
It was the Countess de Gondi (whose servant he had helped) who persuaded her husband to endow and support a group of able and zealous missionaries who would work among poor tenant farmers and country people in general. Vincent was too humble to accept leadership at first, but after working for some time in Paris among imprisoned galley-slaves, he returned to be the leader of what is now known as the Congregation of the Mission, or the Vincentians. These priests, with vows of poverty, chastity, obedience and stability, were to devote themselves entirely to the people in smaller towns and villages.
Later, Vincent established confraternities of charity for the spiritual and physical relief of the poor and sick of each parish. From these, with the help of St. Louise de Marillac, came the Daughters of Charity, "whose convent is the sickroom, whose chapel is the parish church, whose cloister is the streets of the city." He organized the rich women of Paris to collect funds for his missionary projects, founded several hospitals, collected relief funds for the victims of war and ransomed over 1,200 galley slaves from North Africa. He was zealous in conducting retreats for clergy at a time when there was great laxity, abuse and ignorance among them. He was a pioneer in clerical training and was instrumental in establishing seminaries.
Most remarkably, Vincent was by temperament a very irascible person—even his friends admitted it. He said that except for the grace of God he would have been "hard and repulsive, rough and cross." But he became a tender and affectionate man, very sensitive to the needs of others.
Pope Leo XIII made him the patron of all charitable societies. Outstanding among these, of course, is the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, founded in 1833 by his admirer Blessed Frédéric Ozanam (September 7).
The Church is for all God's children, rich and poor, peasants and scholars, the sophisticated and the simple. But obviously the greatest concern of the Church must be for those who need the most help—those made helpless by sickness, poverty, ignorance or cruelty. Vincent de Paul is a particularly appropriate patron for all Christians today, when hunger has become starvation, and the high living of the rich stands in more and more glaring contrast to the physical and moral degradation in which many of God's children are forced to live.
"Strive to live content in the midst of those things that cause your discontent. 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 honor him sufficiently with holy trust. Trust in him, I beg you, and you will have the fulfillment of what your heart desires" (St. Vincent de Paul, Letters).
Patron Saint of:
It is OK to feel whatever we do feel about our circumstances. After all, God created us to have feelings. We can bring our feelings, whatever they may be, safely to God and allow him to lead us through them.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
Let us confide always in divine mercy, and thus we will experience more and more, how good the Lord is.
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook Three: 189-236
We continue now to the third notebook that Saint Faustina filled with messages of Mercy from our Lord. As you enter into this notebook, pause and reflect upon all that you have read so far. Has it changed your perspective on life? Has it changed you? If it has, then continue down that same path and trust that the Lord will continue to do great things in your life. If it has not, reflect upon why!
Sometimes we need more than the words we read. We also need true prayer, deep prayer and what we may call “soaking prayer.” Consider this as you read through the reflections flowing from this notebook and allow the words to not only enter your mind, but to also enter deeper. Read them prayerfully and carefully. Speak to our Lord as Saint Faustina did. Read some more of her actual diary in addition to these reflections and learn from her humble and childlike faith.
The Lord wants to do great things in your life! Open the door, through prayer and reflection, and let Him in!
Reflection 200: The Unity of Love and Suffering
Are love and suffering opposed? In other words, if you feel much suffering can you also have great love? One question to consider is this: What is the source of your suffering? Is it your sin? Is it compassion for another? Is it a physical or psychological wound? The truth is that every suffering is able to be united with love in your heart. This is true even of the suffering you endure as a result of your sin. Sin is clearly not from God, but when you experience interior suffering as a result of your sin, it’s a sign that your conscience is at work and that is good. The goal is to take every form of suffering you endure, be it from sin or any other source, and let it become an impetus for mercy. First, you must allow the Mercy of God to soothe the pain you feel, and then you must let that love coming from the Lord’s Mercy transform your suffering into your own mercy. Suffering and Mercy must meet within your heart and from there, extend out to others (See Diary #1050).
What do you see in your heart? Specifically identify any suffering you endure. No matter what the cause, look at it and experience it. As you do this, allow the grace flowing from the Heart of Christ to enter in. And as you allow it to enter in, let Him transform your hurt into a heart full of mercy and compassion for all, starting with yourself. The Mercy of God is abundant and can overshadow everything we experience in life, even our pain. Let your pain meet Divine Mercy in your heart and you will be forever changed.
Lord, I invite You into my heart. Come and dwell there and transform everything within me through an abundant outpouring of Your Divine Mercy. May I love You, dear Lord, above all things and allow Your presence in my life to change me for Your glory. Jesus, I trust in You.