Aquinas and More. Good Faith. Guaranteed.

Remembering Vincent on September 27th.

by aquinasandmore on September 27, 2007

Do you feel, like so many of us, that we are living in an age of less kindness and more selfishness, of so much more materialism and too little charity? Today is the feast day of a great saint, St. Vincent de Paul - a man of tremendous goodness, charity and wisdom - a true champion of the poor and the forsaken.
We'd like to share with you, some wisdom from the sermons and writings of St. Vincent De Paul, a hero for this day and for everyday:
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However great the work that God may achieve by an individual, he must not indulge in self-satisfaction. He ought rather to be all the more humbled, seeing himself merely as a tool which God has made use of.”
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We must love our neighbor as being made in the image of God and as an object of His love.”
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The Church teaches us that mercy belongs to God. Let us implore Him to bestow on us the spirit of mercy and compassion, so that we are filled with it and may never lose it. Only consider how much we ourselves are in need of mercy.”
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Extend your mercy towards others, so that there can be no one in need whom you meet without helping. For what hope is there for us if God should withdraw His Mercy from us?”
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The most powerful weapon to conquer the devil is humility. For, as he does not know at all how to employ it, neither does he know how to defend himself from it.”
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Free your mind from all that troubles you; God will take care of things. You will be unable to make haste in this (choice) without, so to speak, grieving the heart of God, because he sees that you do not honor him sufficiently with holy trust. Trust in him, I beg you, and you will have the fulfillment of what your heart desires.”
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Human nature grows tired of always doing the same thing, and it is God's will that this because of the opportunity of practicing two great virtues. The first is perseverance, which will bring us to our goal. The other is steadfastness, which overcomes the difficulties on the way.”
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We should strive to keep our hearts open to the sufferings and wretchedness of other people, and pray continually that God may grant us that spirit of compassion which is truly the spirit of God.”
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Perfection consists in one thing alone, which is doing the will of God. For, according to Our Lord's words, it suffices for perfection to deny self, to take up the cross and to follow Him. Now who denies himself and takes up his cross and follows Christ better than he who seeks not to do his own will, but always that of God? Behold, now, how little is needed to become as Saint? Nothing more than to acquire the habit of willing, on every occasion, what God wills.”
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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 Christ's 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 love whose who love the poor. For when on 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 be understanding where they are concerned. We sympathize with them so fully that we can echo Paul's words: "I have become all things to all men." Therefore, we must try to be stirred by our neighbors' worries and distress.”
Saint Vincent de Paul, pray for us!

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