For Vincent the notion of sacrifice is always associated with the notion of love: who loves is ready to sacrifice for the beloved. The Father sacrificed His Son sending him into the world out of love for us. Jesus sacrificed his divinity in loving obedience to the Father and came among us as the way to the Father; Jesus sacrificed his human life dying out of love for us that we might be reconciled to the Father and live forever with Him.
It is also associated with humility: Jesus humbled himself to become one of us and we, aware of our failures to respond fully to God’s love and mercy, stand humbled before our God, willing to offer him our sacrifices of praise and worship, the sacrifices that love demands of us, and even the crosses we are asked to bear. What Vincent asks of his followers is “sincerity and a generous willingness of heart” (cf. OOCC II, 8) to put into practice not the sacrifices Jesus did, but to live the love of God and others that moves us to give of ourselves, totally if necessary, for the love of God and the love of neighbour.
Graphics by Sr. Julitta Gołębiowska, SAC
Digital collage by Sr. Miriam Studzińska, SAC