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Can we Live What We Sing – Sing What We Live?”

Those words have captured my imagination. They are words from the prayer offered by Spanish-Speaking Vincentian Musicians in a post on

These words find different expression in the hearts of artists, lawyers, translators, writers, graphic designers, psychologists, etc.  They seek to follow Christ the Evangelizer of the Poor honoring their respective talents.

“A call within a call”

But first let’s explore Mother Teresa’s “call within a call.”

Riding on a train Mother Teresa received what she called “a call within a call.” It was a call to leave her life as a teacher and to serve the poorest of the poor in the slums of Calcutta.

Recently, forty-two people from Spanish-speaking countries met for the first time by videoconference. They explored their call within a call. How could they serve the poor using their musical talents.

They had many differences.  Men and women. Some live in a vowed form of life. Many others had roots in lay branches of the Vincentian family – AIC, MISEVI, SSVP, JMV, AMM and other branches. 

They had two things in common. They were musicians and composers. They also discovered that their talents opened up new ways of walking the footsteps of Christ the Evangelizer of the Poor.

In a less dramatic way than Mother Teresa’s train ride they explored their “call within a call.”

Put another way they sought answers to questions:

  • Is it possible that the world of poverty can be overcome through music?
  • Is it possible to create a world in which all the members of the Vincentian Family sing praise to God?
  • Is it possible that we can put lyrics and musical notes to the greatness of our charism?

Their prayerful answer spoke to my heart even though I am not a musician.

A musician’s prayer

Lord Jesus, You called us to follow you after the example of Saint Vincent de Paul and many others who discovered your presence in the poor and needy to help them physically and spiritually and to proclaim the Good News of God, the merciful Father.

We place at your disposal the gifts that You gave us:

We present to you our life and our abilities as composers, musicians, or singers.

Teach us to live this ministry in depth as a privileged moment that enables us to draw closer to the impoverished of this land and to all who seek you with a sincere heart.

Lord, may we live what we sing and sing what we live.

Help us put aside the fear of silence to be brave and be determined in denouncing the injustice in which millions of your children throughout the world live.

Let us not seek applause or acclamation but rather give us strength to do your will at all times.

May we know how to listen to your Word and the word of the poor and may they be the reason for our songs.

Give us, Lord, the infinite creativity that made Saint Vincent our model for following you.

We place our lives in your hands and we trust you.


Do these words speak to your heart?

A vocation is not a static, once-in-a-lifetime call that never changes. It dynamically unfolds throughout the course of our lives sometimes leading to a ”call within a call”.

For your consideration

Have you discovered a special talent or developed a special skill?

Would you be interested in meeting with others like yourself to explore using that skill in serving others as a “call within a call?

If so, to find out others who share your talents contact Father Flavio Pereira at

Click below for  an audio version of this reflection.

Sing What You Live

You might be interested in some related reflections

The Vitality of the Vincentian Family Today

Flying Under the Radar – Vincentian Professionals

Broadening Horizons – A Life-long Journey

Jesus’ Mission Statement

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