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To Serve the Poor is to Serve Jesus--St. Vincent de Paul

To Serve the Poor

is to Serve Jesus

St. Vincent de Paul

 

 

St. Vincent de Paul, Chairty, Poverty, Helping the Poor, Catholic Faith

This excerpt from the writings of St. Vincent de Paul  (Epist. 2546: Correspondance, entretiens, documents, Paris 1922-1925, 7) is used in the Roman Office of Readings for the Feast (liturgical memorial) of Saint Vincent de Paul on September 27.  St. Vincent was born in Gascoy, France, in 1581. He was ordained a priest and went to Paris where he was stationed in a parish.  He founded the Congregation of the Mission to supervise the formation of priests and to give support to the poor.  With the help of Saint Louise de Marillac, he also founded the Congregation of the Daughters of Charity.  He died at Paris in 1660.  For other writings of other saints, visit The Crossroads Initiative Library.

 

Even though the poor are often rough and unrefined, we must not judge them from external appearances nor from the mental gifts they seem to have received. On the contrary, if you consider the poor in the light of faith, then you will observe that they are taking the place of the Son of God who chose to be poor.


Although in his passion he almost lost the appearance of a man and was considered a fool by the Gentiles and a stumbling block by the Jews, he showed them that his mission was to preach to the poor: He sent me to preach the good news to the poor. We also ought to have this same spirit and imitate Christís actions, that is, we must take care of the poor, console them, help them, support their cause.


Since Christ willed to be born poor, he chose for himself disciples who were poor. He made himself the servant of the poor and shared their poverty. He went so far as to say that he would consider every deed which either helps or harms the poor as done for or against himself. Since God surely loves the poor, he also loves those who love the poor. For when one person holds another dear, he also includes in his affection anyone who loves or serves the one he loves. That is why we hope that God will love us for the sake of the poor. So when we visit the poor and needy, we try to understand the poor and weak. We sympathise with them so fully that we can echo Paulís words: I have become all things to all men.

 

Therefore, we must try to be stirred by our neighborsí worries and distress. We must beg God to pour into our hearts sentiments of pity and compassion and to fill them again and again with these dispositions.


It is our duty to prefer the service of the poor to everything else and to offer such service as quickly as possible. If a needy person requires medicine or other help during prayer time, do whatever has to be done with peace of mind. Offer the deed to God as your prayer. Do not become upset or feel guilty because you interrupted your prayer to serve the poor. God is not neglected if you leave him for such service. One of Godís works is merely interrupted so that another can be carried out. So when you leave prayer to serve some poor person, remember that this very service is performed for God. Charity is certainly greater than any rule. Moreover, all rules must lead to charity. Since she is a noble mistress, we must do whatever she commands. With renewed devotion, then, we must serve the poor, especially outcasts and beggars. They have been given to us as our masters and patrons.

 

Be sure to check out Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio's - "Meaning of Mercy."

 

For a listing of the Works of Mercy, Click Here!

 

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The Fathers of the Church - Who They Are and Why They Matter

Early Church Fathers, Marcellino D'AmbrosioIn a single, upbeat talk, full of examples and stories about some of the Church's most intriguing personalities, Marcellino D'Ambrosio explains who people are talking about when they refer to the "Fathers of the Church" or "Early Church Fathers.  Though the ranks of the fathers include a tremendous variety of cultures, locales, and personalities, there is surprising consensus that emerges from them on a variety of the most important questions of our day.  In this talk, Marcellino makes clear just how much these figures have to teach us today. 

 


 

God's Seven Gifts: The Sacraments of the Catholic Church
In the Gospels, Christ made it clear just how important the sacraments are for our lives. Yet today, many Catholics take them for granted. With little understanding of the importance and power of the sacraments, these Catholics are simply going through the motions.

But as Marcellino DíAmbrosio explains in Godís Seven Gifts, God gave us the sacraments as a gift to help us in our walk with him.

 


 

The Virtues: Seven Habits of Champions- DVD
 The Virtues: Seven Habits of Champions- DVD Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio offers a spirited 8-part meditation on the four moral virtues - fortitude, prudence, justice and temperance - as well as the three theological virtues of faith, hope and charity. This program lays out how God's inspiration for Christian living is accessible to everyone and demonstrated for us through the lives of the saints.


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