© 2010 Vincentians Ireland
Provincial Office, St Pauls
“Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested that is, some books are to be read only in parts, others to be read, but not curiously, and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention”
Sir Francis Bacon
John-Pierre Renouard (Author),
John E. Rybolt (Editor, Translator)
The universally recognized Saint of Charity, Vincent de Paul, lived a rich and complex life. Intensely devoted to Jesus, especially Jesus suffering in the poor, Vincent\\\'s way of reading the gospel has special resonance for today. Throughout his long life, he managed to bring together both prayer and action. Although some mystery shrouds his younger years, he conducted his priestly life in full view through great activities that continue today. His two religious families (the Congregation of the Mission, or Vincentians; and the Daughters of Charity) as well as other groups he founded or inspired (such as the International Association of Charities and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul) still look to him for guidance. This humble son of French peasants would be surprised at the millions today who count themselves as members of the Vincentian Family, but would be grateful for God\\\'s grace spread about on the poor and those who serve them in his spirit. ABOUT THE SERIES Spiritual journeys are best experienced with a guide. 15 Days of Prayer\\\" provides such direction from foundational spiritual figures. Each volume in the series contains:
* A brief biography of the saint or spiritual leader introduced in that volume
* A guide to creating a format for prayer and retreat
* 15 meditations sessions with focus points and reflection guides
Below is a review taken from Amazon.com website:
This new entry in the 15 Days of Prayer series, like those before it, is designed to bring readers to a place of prayer and a more intimate relationship with God. In this case, John-Pierre Renouard\'s reflections on the life of St. Vincent de Paul are the medium. He begins with a brief biography of Monsieur Vincent, whom he describes as a giant of charity, and an authentic mystic for whom contemplation was the vital life force.
Vincent was born in France in 1581 and died in 1660. His legacy includes more than 30,000 letters and a spiritual family that today numbers 4,000 Vincentian priests and brothers, 25,000 Daughters of Charity, 260,000 women members of the International Association of Charities, 930,000 members of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, and 200,000 participants in Vincentian Marian Youth groups. In the 15 Days format, Renouard writes of Vincent\'s faith, priesthood, and daily life. The overarching theme is his devotion to the poor.
The title for the eleventh day is \"To Leave God for God,\" and the focus is on maintaining balance amid competing values and expectations. Renouard quotes Vincent\'s remarks on the topic in five different conferences to the Daughters of Charity. One illustration has a sister\'s prayer time being interrupted by a request to care for a sick or poor person. Leaving prayer to answer God\'s call to charity is all right, Vincent tells the sisters. \"God calls you to make your prayer, and at the same time He calls you to that poor, sick person. That\'s called leaving God for God.\" At other times Vincent used examples of choosing charity over attending Sunday Mass and meditating. In each case he told the sisters the service of the poor must be preferred over everything else. Renouard concludes the day\'s reflection by asking us to think about our lives and accomplishments. There is only one universal criterion that should weigh on your soul, he writes, and it is found in the Gospel: \"you have done it to me.\"
With its guidelines for use, short meditations, and reflection questions, 15 Days of Prayer with Saint Vincent de Paul is a valuable resource for individuals and faith-sharing groups.