‘During the past few days I have been reading about the simple, normal way of life that our Lord willed to live while he was on earth, and I saw that he loved this ordinary and lowly life so much that he abased himself, so far as lay in his power, to adapt himself to it, and that although he was the uncreated Wisdom of the Eternal Father, yet it was his will to preach his doctrine in a much more commonplace and ordinary style than his apostles did. I ask you to compare his discourses with the letters and sermons of St Peter, St Paul and the other apostles. It would seem that he assumed the style of a man of little learning, while that of the apostles seems to be the style of men with far greater knowledge than he had. What is ever more astonishing, it was his will that his sermons should produce much less in the way of results than did those of his apostles; for we may see in the Gospels that he gained his apostles and disciples almost always one by one, and that with trouble and difficulty, and yet by his first sermon St Peter converted five thousand. That, for sure, has given me more light and knowledge, or so it seems, on the marvellous humility of the Son of God than any other reflection on the subject that I have ever made’.
from a letter to a priest of the mission, 1633, by St Vincent de Paul, 1581-1660
O God, who didst strengthen blessed Vincent de Paul with apostolic power for preaching the Gospel to the poor, and for promoting worthiness in the clergy: grant, we beseech thee; that we who reverence his pious deeds may also be taught by the example of his virtues; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen. - Divine Worship: The Missal.
Fr Lee Kenyon