The first 2021 issue of Ozanam Network magazine has just been published. We feature the editorial by Brother Renato Lima de Olieveira, 16th President General of SSVP
For us as Vincentians, there are no hard times
Faced with the countless challenges in our daily life, we sometimes feel weak, lost and incapable of changing the current situation. At various times in our lives, we also feel humiliated, despised and subject to the indifference and prejudice of others. Like all people, we are not immune to problems.
But for us as members of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, such negative feelings should not affect us. God strengthens us, protects us and keeps us in such a way that we are always assisted by divine Grace. So we are abundantly blessed by Our Lord Jesus Christ.
For us as Vincentians, there are no hard times. God has given us the strength, the will and the confidence to overcome life’s setbacks. He has filled us with extra energy, intelligence, audacity, creativity and innovation to be able to defeat problems, find solutions and propose ways out. God really helps us to overcome unemployment, sickness and hopelessness, ever-present in this time of pandemic.
For us as Vincentians, there are no hard times. Within our Society, we can see this same providential force that drives us forward. Our Conferences, special works and Councils are truly protected by the love of Our Lady, who gives us the encouragement and faith we need so much to find ways to keep on serving in our Vincentian work, especially for those who need it most.
For us as Vincentians, there are no hard times. We can never give up. Faith in Christ is our hope and our joy. Charity is much stronger than we are, redoubling our strength in difficult times. Trials will pass. Tribulations will pass. The shadows will pass. I have no doubt that our Conferences will continue to flourish, because the Lord will not let them weaken.
Therefore, dear fellow members, let us never lose hope, because in this way we will overcome the setbacks of this earthly life, in the light of the Holy Spirit and with the Word of God at our side. Let us also never forget the example given by St. Vincent de Paul and our seven founders, who also faced, in their time, very unfavorable situations.“That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).