Society of Saint Vincent de Paul of Montréal 1930 Champlain, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H2L 2S8 The look THE LOOK… 2 Serviens in spe (to serve in hope) Through eyes of: joy, justice, and charity The welcoming look expresses the way we welcome, the way we accept the other, his or her way of being, of thinking. It also means welcoming someone, greeting him, accepting the foreigner as a brother, a sister. To be a real presence for the other. The compassionate look brings us to pity the other, to share his or her suffering, to sympathize, to feel sorry for the other, to be one with what the other is going through. The inquisitive look is the look that judges, a look that is suspicious, questioning, a look that expresses authority and power. Reflection Are my welcome, my compassion, attitudes of joy and hope, or are they an inquisitive look that make me act as a judge of conformity with established standards and procedures? How do I look at foreigners? How did Vincent de Paul, Frederic Ozanam and his companions, as well as Rosalie Rendu welcome the others and sympathize with their suffering? And Jesus, how was he welcoming, compassionate towards those who suffer? There is always someone to look at! There is always a need to reflect, to cultivate a benevolent look! There is always an inner eye for the other, a look of tenderness and affection to give! There is always a look to welcome and console, a look of hope to offer! There is always a look of tender love! There is always the eye of Jesus through you! TEXTS TO MEDITATE PRAYER Biblical text: Mc 10, 21 ( rich young man) “Jesus looked at him and loved him. ‘One thing you lack,’ he said. ‘Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’ ” When your eyes, Lord, meet my gaze Duplicity, you see, is the pest of the missionary (which we are): duplicity steals his mind. It is the venom and the poison of the Mission to lack sincerity and simplicity to the eyes of God and men. (One thought per day, Vincent de Paul) Frederic Ozanam (Lyon, November 13, 1836, to Louis Jeannot) …it seems to me that we must see in order to love, and we see God only through the eyes of Faith, and our Faith is so weak! But men, the poor, we see them we our material eyes, there are there and we can put our finger and our hand in their wounds, and the traces of the crown of thorns are visible on their forehead, and here, incredulity is not possible anymore, and we should kneel before them and tell them as does the apostle: Tu es Dominus et Deus meus (You are my Lord and my God). You are our masters and we shall be your servants, you are for us the sacred image of that God that we do not see and, not knowing how to love otherwise, we will (love) Him through you. In the eyes the poor, it is your eyes, Lord, the meet mu gaze! In the eyes of that abused elderly, it is your eyes, Lord, that meet my gaze! Saint Vincent de Paul In the eyes of that old woman rejected by all, it is your eyes, Lord, that meet my gaze! In the eyes of that person with bipolar disorder, submerged by obsessions, it is your eyes, Lord, that meet my gaze! In the eyes of that unemployed man, sent away from door to door, it is your eyes, Lord, that meet my gaze! In the eyes of that prostitute who is being ridiculed, it is your eyes, Lord, that meet my gaze! In the eyes of that abandoned child, it is your eyes, Lord, that meet my gaze! In the eyes of that young beggar on the street corner, it is your eyes, Lord, that meet my gaze! In the eyes of that gay man, scorned by his family, it is your eyes, Lord, that meet my gaze! In the eyes of that woman, a desperate HIV victim, it is your eyes, Lord, that meet my gaze! Lord, you have been suffering in your poor since the Golgotha, may your gaze fuel my compassion, awaken my conscience, and encourage me to serve you tirelessly through the poorest of the poor. Amen.
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