One of the handouts at the Ladies of Charity National Assembly provides a method for finding God in your life.
Apostolic reflection is a Vincentian model based on the concept that “God is present” in each of our experiences, in events, in persons who are in our presence and in whose presence we are. St. Vincent, St Louise, and Frederic Ozanam treated each person as sacred and special.
The point of this reflection is to focus on the sacredness of the persons we have encountered and to share what God communicates to us through our encounter of events.
In this reflection we share an experience of faith, we affirm the presence of God in our experience or we make an effort to understand how God was present through our encounter. This sharing should reflect how God touched us in some way.
The basic elements of Vincentian theological or apostolic reflection includes:
- An event
- A personal response to the event (what you did)
- A Gospel and/or Vincentian value that touched the experience, and that touched you
Choose an event from your ministry that moved you in some way. This might be an event that touched you deeply, confused you, or challenged you…
Approach this event with the knowledge and reverence that it is God’s word to you. Remember Vincent found God in the midst of events. Reverence the experience as part of God’s unfolding story in your life and in the life of the community.
For a few moments try to re-enter this event as fully as possible remembering all the details. You may want to write it down as a story. Either re-read it to yourself or recall the story, savoring all the parts as if it were a story that has been given to you.
Reflect upon the “text” of the event. God is present in it.
- Do any questions surface?
- Do any feelings surface?
- Do any images surface?
- Ask God about these.
- Do any insights come?
- Were you challenged in any way spiritually by this event?
- Share with God what you are hearing.
- Honor these instincts that have been given to you in prayer, possibly by writing them down.
- Perhaps this event reminds you of something in the life of Jesus in the Gospels, or of the life of Vincent, Louise, or Frederic Ozanam.
Share the story with others. Share what happened and what happened to you as a result of the encounter. Share how this event may have reminded you of a Scripture verse, something from the life of Jesus, of Vincent, Louise, or Frederic. Share from your heart.
Adapted from Sister Loretto Gettemeier’s paper on Apostolic Reflection 6/2000theologcalapostolicrefIection/ministiy