Saturday, 29 September 2012

Ordinary decency

"Give me a person of prayer, and such a one will be capable of accomplishing anything." 
(St Vincent De Paul)

A couple of days ago, 27th September, was the feast day of St Vincent De Paul, also the anniversary of his death. Vincent was the son of French peasant farmers who became the priest of the disadvantaged and displaced and ultimately the inspiration for the Society of St Vincent De Paul. I'm a longstanding fan of the work of the SVP; an admiration that has been passed along to me from my parents (see earlier post: "Here's to those who turn Concern into Action" March 2012). 
The SVP offered a great deal of support to my Mum and Dad when they fetched up in south London all those years ago with my sister and some suitcases. When I first moved to Brighton, I discovered an SVP shop a stone's throw from my new home; my Mum said it was a sure sign of a "decent" area; for "ordinary people". Along the Lewes Road in Brighton, as in so many parts of the UK now, the ordinary people are frequently very poor, surviving with help and decency from other ordinary people; the essence of charities such as the SVP.

"Prayer for an End to Poverty"
Creator God,
You loved the world into life;
forgive us when our dreams of the future
are shaped by anything other than glimpses of a kingdom
of justice, peace and an end to poverty.
(Christian Aid prayer, 2012)

"La Route est Dure"  Georgia Brown

"The road is hard but I am strong:
my soul is safe, the fear is gone.
I know what I must do with this life,
as the whole of the earth shall be delivered."
(From "La Route est Dure" - original author unknown. 
Apologies for my rough translation!)

*With great admiration and respect for Tom Turnbull and the Lymington Conference of the SVP*

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