ONRC sprirituality workshop

(posted: September 17, 2016)

Vincentian Spirituality, Virtues and Us as Family

We are born into a family, we don't choose our relatives, as well we are descendants of a common ancestor. We are God's children in His ever inclusive family. If at the end of our workshop our concept of family has expanded to include everyone then we will have been successful.

Let us look at how the five vincentian virtues of, SIMPLICITY, HUMILITY, GENTLENESS, SELFLESSNESS, ZEAL, will help us be more holy and lead to a deeper relationship with Jesus and each other.
What does this holiness that Jesus requires looks like?
Holiness is Jesus with the Samaritan woman at the well.
Holiness is Jesus helping the woman caught in adultery.
Holiness includes everyone making all of us family.
Holiness is centered on Peace, being a peace bearer.

Let's look at the First Vincentian virtue of SIMPLICITY

Jesus always spoke and acted with clarity and simplicity. Jesus always prayed to His Father before a miracle saying,'I thank you Father for hearing me.' He and His father are one and He calls us into that simple oneness. There is and inner silence that can be difficult to access since our world is chaotic. This makes finding that well of silence and peace an imperative to any movement towards finding Holiness. When we are at peace anchored in Christ's love we authentically have the freedom to be our best selves and that is attractive.
Simplicity is pure, uncomplicated. If my heart is full of anxiety, worry and angst then my priority needs to be to empty out the stuff that is impeding God filling my heart with His love, peace, joy, and
serenity. Nothing can separate us from Him.
Simplicity, is TRUST. Remember when we were very young and we would throw ourselves into space and our dad would catch us and swoop us into his arms. This simple act of trust is the hallmark of our relationship with God. We believe He will catch us no matter what we fall into, because He is our loving Father.

Questions for reflection. How can I be more inclusive in those I consider to be family? How can I use my past experiences to increase my trust in God's love?


I taught school for 32 yrs, that will keep you humble! One of my favourite stories that I read many years, was Charlottes' Web. Charlotte, the spider, would put words describing Wilbur, the pig, in the web. One of the words was HUMBLE, which meant low to the ground. I like that definition as it captures how God wants us to be, after all everything we have is a gift that is lent to us to help others. JOY...Jesus, others, yourself...puts things in the right order. When the order gets reversed then we forget that we follow Jesus, a humble servant God.
One other word that showed up in the web was RADIANT. The love of God shines through us and we radiate His love. On a home visit can you sense the joy of God welling up inside as you pray to be His ambassadors of peace.
Our deep desire to share comes from our sacrifice, our humble service. Sometimes we will hear people bemoaning the resources it takes to visit, or wondering out loud if it makes a difference.
There is a story of a man who would walk the beaches and gently reach down and scoop up stranded starfish and toss them back into the sea. His friend asked him why he bothered since there were still
thousands remaining stranded on the beach.. he picked up a starfish and held it out to his friend....It makes a difference to this one!!!
Each act of humble service we are privileged to be a part of makes a difference to those we serve. St.Theresa said, “do small things with great love' no one can say that her humble ministry has not changed the world, one leper, one starfish at a time.When an idea to help is planted in our hearts then God sends the means to realize the dream that He planted since we believe in His providential care.

Question for reflection! How can I open my heart more fully to God's love and providence?


One of the most misunderstood virtues is gentleness. It takes a strong person to be Gentle. Jesus says a soft word turns away wrath. You get what you give... anger begets anger, if we are gentle, generally the response will be gentle. If we are loving and respectful generally that will be the response.
When we walk through our life assured of God's love then we can gently love others.
We can comfort because we are comforted. Prayerful encounters with Jesus comfort us in our hearts silence. We become kind and tender and patient as we model Jesus.

Question for reflection! How can we model Christ's gentleness to those we serve?


Our journey to God is one of seeking selflessness. Modeling Jesus, who was totally selfless, will lead to loving service. When we die to ourself we are putting on Christ, who makes us our best selves. If we
are to radiate God's joy then we must act out of a spirit of generosity, a spirit of love, that is selflessness.
Love is not talking, love is living. My heart, hands and feet express my love whole heartedly. Putting Jesus in the driver's seat will ensure our jouney is towards Him and His will.

Question for Reflection. Am I prepared to let God drive?


St.Theresa tells us to do our work well since we are God's hands, feet, eyes and heart. This is an exciting idea that alone will increase our zeal. Each of us has many examples of finding Christ in the poor that has increased our motivation to serve. This zeal is Jesus's life giving water that bubbles up joyfully inside us.

Question for Reflection... How can I let God's excitement be mine?

Michelle and Gord Jenkinson, April 1, 2017