By Sr. Regina Bechtle
As I sort through papers before throwing them out (= recycling) them, often a quote will leap off the page and catch my eye. It’s precisely the thought that I need for that moment, that day. (Surely you know the feeling…)
I take it as a nudge from the Spirit, a sign of God’s Providence that gives me what I need, when I need it (though usually not a minute before). As Elizabeth Seton said, “Certainly…he [God] will open the door, probably…when we least expect it.”
Here is one such “nudge” that I discovered at the beginning of Holy Week. It speaks about the self-giving love that we celebrate on Holy Thursday, the mystery and pain of Jesus’ death on Good Friday, the hope of Holy Saturday and the promise and power of new life that is Easter. As all of us hold the suffering people of Ukraine, Yemen, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and South Sudan in prayer, these words will be the heart of my reflection and prayer during these holy days.
May you who read this find that the message speaks to your life, too.
“Vincentians [those who follow the way and continue the spirit of St. Vincent de Paul] see the crucified everyday in the streets of large cities and in poor country villages. One of the great gifts of St. Vincent was the ability to recognize the crucified Christ in the face of the suffering and to mobilize the energies of others in their service. He was an extraordinary organizer. To aid the most abandoned of his time, Vincent gathered together rich and poor, women and men, clergy and lay. As he contemplated suffering humanity, he knew…that the ‘crucified peoples’ bring salvation to us, as we labor to take them down from the cross.
…Our meditation on the crucified Lord, who loves us even to death, and on the crucified peoples in whom the Lord continues to live, will always be brightened by resurrection faith. The gospel proclaims loud and clear that suffering love triumphs, that the power of God works through human weakness, that the light overcomes the darkness, that there is hope even in the face of hopelessness.”
(Robert Maloney, CM, Seasons in Spirituality)