The other day, Philip Kosloski invited those in the Jesuit tradition to an annual examen (recalling of God’s activity and our response). Vincentians need it, too.
Here is how an examen might look for Vincentians:
- After placing yourself in God’s presence, first give thanks to God for all the many blessings received through your contact with His beloved poor during the past year. Pass through each month, remembering the blessings that occurred.
- Pray for the grace to understand God’s divine providence.
- Next, review each month again. Picture some of the people you encountered and take notice of any feelings or movements that occur in your heart while doing this activity. Whatever you may feel (whether it was a good feeling or bad feeling), ask God to help you understand why an event happened.
- Fourth, ask pardon for any sins you committed, trusting fully in God’s mercy.
- Last of all look forward to the New Year think of ways that you can serve more faithfully and collaborate more with God’s loving plan for your life.
If we want to progress in 2017 in any way, we must not forget the past, but learn from it and accept everything that happened in light of God’s divine providence. By doing this, we can better move forward and do so in a spirit of collaboration, realizing that God is the one who is in control. In the end, if we are to remember one thing let us recall the words God said to the prophet Jeremiah:
“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me; when you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you, says the Lord.” (Jeremiah 29:11-14)
Try this examen. Is the God of the Poor in control of your life and ministry? Have a blessed New Year.