St Vincent de Paul

No, this isn’t going to be a potted biography of this great Saint. You can all look that up on the web, for your sins! A great servant of Christ’s beloved poor, he reminds all of us, whatever our station in life, that where Catholics should be is down there with them: the poor with no shelter, no clothes, no food, or no clean water, yes, but few such are found where I live. There is a far larger constituency of the poor to be found, if we pan out:

The poor of mind and thought and wisdom, who find their world befogged, confusing.

The poor of hope, who despair.

The poor of health and ease, whose worries and pain lock them away.

The poor of soul, who cannot give to others, for they have nothing worthwhile to give.

I am sure I’ve forgotten some from the list, commenters please note.

When I am flailing around for something to write about here, I always turn to the Divine Office for inspiration. It is so easy nowadays to click that Universalis link (top right) and get straight to it without fumbling with ribbons and tissue thin pages. Being a lazy undisciplined creature, I read the Mass readings, and then the Office of Readings.

Not being a trained sermonator, I shall not bore you with my simplistic interpretations of todays readings. Rather, I urge you all, please, please, please, to go and prayerfully read them yourselves., and reap the riches therein.

As I was fixing the communal computer this Sunday evening, again, my youngest son walks in, and quite nonchalantly and offhand, asks “Dad, have we got house insurance?”

I answered in the affirmative (with ‘directline2God’, as it happens), and he wandered off.

Then I read Job 1:6-22. I really won’t sleep a wink at all, tonight!

Insomniacs, the poor of sleep (another for the list): “I am with you always”

Sayeth the Lord,

and me.

About Brother Burrito

A sinner who hopes in God's Mercy, and who cannot stop smiling since realizing that Christ IS the Way , the Truth and the Life. Alleluia!
This entry was posted in Humour, Living Catholic lives, Saints, Spiritual Life and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to St Vincent de Paul

  1. toadspittle says:

    “…where Catholics should be is down there with them: the poor with no shelter, no clothes, no food, or no clean water, yes, but few such are found where I live. “

    Says Burro.

    First you must read Teresa’s interesting post, then go and live in Africa.
    Like she plans to.
    I think.

    Like

  2. kathleen says:

    “Giving our wealth to the poor may be simply out of a sense of compassion. It is charity if in this sentiment you live the mystery of being one with the person who suffers.” Fr. Divo Barsotti

    A very welcome post this Burrito, on “St Vincent de Paul”, coming as it does just after the two posts: “Why almost no Africans against the Pope” and “Prayers for Priests”. It ties together two of the missions of the great St Vincent, who achieved such an enormous amount of good in his lifetime – relief of spiritual and material poverty and the training of priests.

    In this age of the worldwide media and globalisation, material poverty is much talked about with some (not enough) steps being taken to combat it.
    Yet there is a far greater poverty in men that is too often overlooked, as you pointed out so well above. For one example, Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who never failed to point out that great poverty so rife in our western society today, with the despair and emptiness of those whose lives seem meaningless.

    As we read in today’s beautiful psalm in Lauds:

    Like a deer that longs for springs of water,
    so my soul longs for you, O God.
    My soul thirsts for God, the living God…

    So this is man’s heart, full of longing for God and the peace and consolation that only He can bring.

    Like

  3. Mimi says:

    I don’t think you have to go to Africa, Burro (with all due respect to Toad).

    Mother Teresa of Calcutta said: “Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you.”

    I think that’s excellent advice.

    Like

  4. toadspittle says:

    “Mother Teresa of Calcutta said: “Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you.”

    …Mimi passes this on, for which I sincerely thank her.

    Better advice I have seldom if ever heard. And I’m not joking, for once.

    (Might be a bit testing if the person nearest me was Mel Gibson, though.)

    A priest who was, and is, a very good friend of mine, once told me the advice his mother had given him: “Try not to do too much harm.”

    I was deeply impressed and have tried, too often unsuccessfully, to live by it ever since.
    So simple.
    So difficult.

    Still, Mother T’s remark reminds me a bit of everybody’s (well, Stephen Fry’s at least) favourite sage, Oscar Wilde: “Charity begins at home, and ought to stay there.”

    Like

  5. Mimi says:

    Toad said:
    ‘A priest who was, and is, a very good friend of mine, once told me the advice his mother had given him: “Try not to do too much harm.”
    I was deeply impressed and have tried, too often unsuccessfully, to live by it ever since.
    So simple.
    So difficult.’

    Forgive me, Toad, but “Try not to do too much harm” seems like a rather negative, timid and unambitious ideal to live by. It would seem to go perfectly with such attitudes as “It’s not my problem” and “I just mind my own business and get on with my own life”. Are there no positive ideals that you strive for? (I.e., doing something rather than NOT doing something?)

    Like

  6. kathleen says:

    If you have a spare hour, here’s good programme on EWTN about St Vincent de Paul:

    http://www.youtube.com/ewtn#p/u/80/bocMkU9qheM

    And a great booklet on Shane’s excellent blog, Lux Occulta, called “Love’s Way”, about charity/vocations/priesthood which seems appropriate here:

    Click to access loves-way.pdf


    (click on cover to read)

    Like

  7. Gertrude says:

    Actually Burro I always find Job rather comforting, so please don’t let him keep you awake. In spite of his tribulations, his boils, his total desolation, he remained faithful, and God rewarded his fidelity – in the end! So be comforted by tribulation – just remain faithful and await the blessings! (or as my Mother used to say – ‘offer it up for the holy souls’ – as a child I honestly thought I had emptied purgatory in the course of my ‘offerings’.)

    Like

  8. omvendt says:

    Mimi said: “I don’t think you have to go to Africa, Burro (with all due respect to Toad).”

    Quite agree. And Mimi’s comment gives me a welcome opportunity to quote Chesterton: “The bible tells us to love our neighbours, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people.”

    Like

  9. omvendt says:

    Burro,

    Your exegesis is certainly ‘in synch’ with Mother Teresa’s, viz: “At the end of our lives, we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made or how many great things we have done. We will be judged by ‘I was hungry and you gave me to eat. I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless and you took me in.’

    Hungry not only for bread-but hungry for love.

    Naked not only for clothing-but naked of human dignity and respect.

    Homeless not only for want of a room of bricks-but homeless because of rejection.

    This is Christ in distressing disguise.”

    Like

  10. omvendt says:

    “Somos peregrinos de la vida, caminantes unidos para amar.”

    “For here we have no lasting city…”

    Pascal got it:

    “All the things in the world are not worth one human thought, and all the efforts of human thought are not worth one act of charity.”

    Like

  11. Frere Rabit says:

    No, don’t go to Africa, Burro. Rabit is quite near Africa and it’s already too hot here. At least, I think I am quite near Africa but I have not looked at the map. It might be further than I thought. I’ll see if I can go there on my velocipede next weekend and let you know, but I think it’s prolly overrated.

    You can always come and stay at the CP&S ‘safe house’ here.
    http://brotherlapin.wordpress.com/2010/09/28/sitting-at-the-back-of-the-chapel

    Like

  12. toadspittle says:

    Pascal got it alright:

    “Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.”

    Like

  13. The Raven says:

    Toad

    Pascal had clearly never met an HR “Professional”.

    Like

  14. joyfulpapist says:

    Or the entertainment director on a cruise ship

    Like

  15. toadspittle says:

    Or Mel Gibson.

    Like

  16. omvendt says:

    Tōad posted:

    “Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.”

    Are we supposed to extrapolate from that that Catholicism is false?

    Wow!

    Time to look out those firelighters…

    Like

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