HOW AM I DEVELOPING MY SPIRITUALITY?
His state was divine,
But Christ Jesus did not cling to his equality with God.
For too long in the Church the understanding that priests and religious were expected to have a deeper spiritual life than our laity was the norm. This was possibly due to the perception that one’s relationship with God was all about saying prayers. Perhaps what was missing was the emphasis that God is in all things and all things belong to God.
This emphasis is found in Māori spirituality in an amazing way: e.g when fishing you throw back the first catch, or, put back into the ground the first cabbage of the season. The practice recognises that what is provided beyond our power comes from somewhere mysterious and is therefore a gift. It is an act of humility and bows to a greater power. Māori also have a sense of communal ownership whereas Europeans tend to think in terms of ‘mine’ rather than ‘ours’. But in fact, everything is ‘ours’. We just have to learn to share.
When therefore I deliver food to a family in need, I am not giving them from what is mine, but simply giving to them what is theirs. In this I am bowing to a greater power, namely God who requests that we care for those in need and ensure they have enough.
To define spirituality we could say it is centering your life around what you believe in the depths of your being. So we must all ask ourselves: What do I believe? Then, am I centering my life around this belief?
If we look at Jesus we see that he had nothing. He even let go of his divinity! Then as a human, he let go of any lust for power, wealth and even status. He did this because at his core was the belief that we belong to God.
The point for Vincentians therefore is this: if we are to serve in a way that reflects Christ, we cannot think in terms of ‘owning’ or exercising power. We are simply ‘sharing’ or ‘giving back’ to those in need what should be theirs in the first place. Keep this in mind, and we will serve as Vincentians with deep respect and love for those who come to us for help. God so loved the world, that he sent his only son (Jn 3:16)
- Do you think we can easily patronise the poor?
- Would you say that Vincentian spirituality highlights the essence of gospel teaching?
MAY PRAYER INTENTION: Please pray for this intention each day throughout the month
We pray for the grace to concebntrate on our relationship with God and make him the centre of our being.
Spirit of God
Open my mind
To understand what I believe
Strengthen me to own my belief
Give me the humility
To let go in my heart