October Spiritual Reflection

Without love, I am nothing

On behalf of the NCC Spiritual Committee and Vincentians across the country I would like to express our very sincere thanks and gratitude to Maureen MacIsaac for her many years of dedicated service to the Society as the Chair of the NCC Spiritual Committee. Her vast experience, knowledge and personal prayer life has benefited all Vincentians in every facet of the Society by encouraging and deepening our personal and public prayer life and love for Jesus, all to our benefit and that of the poor whom we serve. May God bless her abundantly as she enters this new phase of her life. Maureen our prayers go with you.

Thank you to President Jean-Noël Cormier for the invitation to serve as the next Chair of the Spiritual Committee. I ask every Vincentian for their prayers as I embark on this most auspicious journey. My only hope is that I might continue to build on the foundations laid by my predecessors and to maintain those same high standards set by everyone that served before me.

My primary goal is to promote and assist Vincentians who seek to deepen their personal relationship with and love for Jesus through their personal and public prayer life. Without love and prayer the Society would soon become just another social agency providing philanthropic assistance and I would be just another administrator doing his or her job.

If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” 1 Cor 13: 1 – 3

As Vincentians we must be other Christ’s in the world seeking to share in and alleviate misery in all its forms. Like Jesus we must be ready to respond to the call of distress and feelings of hopelessness in the face of despair. More is required than just providing food, clothing, shelter or other material necessities. We must be prepared to recognize Jesus in every person that we meet and to journey with him or her. We cannot do this without grace from above. We must always trust in Jesus who has promised to be with us at all times and in every situation to the end.

I hope over the coming term to provide Vincentians with some of the tools necessary to assist them in their work and thereby to encourage new members to embark on the journey with us.

How can I assess my personal relationship with Jesus:

  • Do I pray daily?
  • Am I thankful to God for all my gifts?
  • Do I go to confession regularly?
  • Do I pray before doing a home visit?
  • Can I deepen my love for Jesus and strengthen my prayer life by attending mass occasionally during the week; praying one extra rosary per week or praying the Liturgy of the Hours?

How can I assess my public relationship with Jesus:

  • Do we pray the opening and closing prayers at our meetings?
  • Do we have a spiritual advisor?
  • Do we have a spiritual reflection at our meetings?
  • Do we celebrate Vincentian feast days?
  • Do we have an annual retreat or day of recollection?

Claude Bédard, Chair Spiritual Committee