St. Vincent Pallotti, founder of the Pallottine Missionary Sisters and spiritual inspiration for the Pallottine Renewal Center, once was quoted as saying, “Let us view each day as the first of our conversion and our last on earth. From this day forward, let us live as the dead would live, if they were given a chance to come back to life.” St. Vincent Pallotti certainly lived in that spirit, committing his life to sharing his faith and helping those who suffered.
St. Vincent offers us an inspiring (and perhaps convincing) challenge that invites us to reflect on how we live our lives and where we choose to put our time, attitude, and energy. It is reminiscent of the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus described by Jesus in Luke16, where a rich man who neglected the poor and suffering while on earth tries to warn his family of the torment that awaits if they do not change their ways. Would the man have responded to Lazarus’ please for help differently if he had believed that day on earth would be his last?
People who come on retreat at the Pallottine Renewal Center often leave with a real sense of grace, faith, and mission as a result of their time in prayer and reflection. There is a sense of “what next”? and a desire to make sure that the enthusiasm and purpose they feel does not fade over time. They leave the center as though it is the first day of their conversion, alive with the Spirit and eager to share the Good News.
What would it mean each of us to live today the way that St. Vincent Pallotti suggests? How could our lives be different if we truely believed that today was the one chance we have to make a difference? How would we share the Good News if we had the zeal of someone who has discovered God’s love for the first time? How would we be the presence of God to the world today if we lived as though we would meet God face-to-face tomorrow?