Is Vincent’s journey Your Journey? No! Each person’s journey is unique. Yet …there are patterns.
Manny Leyson offers us his insights into Vincent’s journey. I found them very concise and stimulating. They may lead us to recognize our own journey’s from looking for good news for himself to bringing good news to those on the margins.
He used the following personal reflections when he was village director of SOS Children’s Village Manila. He met with his staff once a week in what he called “Wednesday Conferences”. “Not only did it bring us together but it also enabled us to work together as a team.”
Excerpts from the full document found at https://bit.ly/vincent-then-now
Part One: AWARENESS
Vincent tried for twenty years to distance himself from the reality of poverty and create a career for himself…
Now Vincent was no longer focused on himself or his family or on his social status. He is now focused on the poor people in the rural area and their spiritual needs.
Part Two: UNDERSTANDING
The turning point in Vincent’s life:
- when he started to identify with the poor,
- when he began to realize his own poverty.
- when Vincent discovered the poor person in himself,
- when he reached the point of saying no longer “the poor” but could exclaim “we the poor,”
It became a clear sign that he openly recognized his own poverty, his own weaknesses, his own sinfulness. From that perspective, from that moment on, he went out to meet others. Vincent de Paul discovered “Jesus’s face” in the poor and the poor in Jesus. This became his most precious treasure.
As we look outward to the cry of the poor, we should not forget to look inward, to the cry of the poor within us, to the poverty within us that cries for help, for freedom, for redemption.
It was Vincent’s acceptance and recognition of his own poverty that led him to purify his own heart, the heart that then beat so strongly for persons on the margins of society!
Part Three: ACTION
Vincent’s approach to the person was not the approach of a theology from “above,” but rather an approach to the person from Vincent’s own poverty, the approach of a theology from “below.”
To welcome the stranger within us, to recognize that he exists in every one of us, to embrace this stranger, accept him, and then give it all to Jesus to heal our wounds, to surrender completely to Him and trust totally in His Providence: this was Vincent’s way.
At the same time, he experienced his own personal conversion, dedicating himself totally to the spiritually and materially poor and bringing about the collaboration of so many, who followed in his footsteps, to make the Gospel a reality “here and now” for millions and millions throughout the 400 years that have passed since that time.
This mission will not end until Charity is globalized, until Charity has embraced all corners of the world and touched the heart of every person!
I hope the above excerpts will help each of us reflect on our own journeys’.
See full document at https://bit.ly/vincent-then-now