Prayer & Reflection
Love and service of the poor is the Vincentian vocation. We love those in need by developing a strong prayer life. The Society encourages daily prayer and reflection on the Scripture to enhance and assist its members in their ministry to the needy. We need the strength of the Holy Spirit to guide us in our decisions, to help us to maintain compassion, commitment and hope. It is important to follow the example and inspiration of Jesus in the Gospels which is the source of our vision and desire to reach out to those who are poor, marginalized, lonely or oppressed. “If our work finds its inspiration in our close union with Christ then we will see the people we call on as persons, not just hands open for financial help...we will see through attitudes that are sometimes...selfish and demanding. We will not become discouraged by suffering caused by broken homes, excessive drinking or lost faith.” (OSC p.84) In the words of Bishop Francis Brooks of Ireland: “its in and through your work that you yourself will grow in the love of God.” (OSC, p.84) When prayer and reflection animate our meetings and our lives, we become witnesses of Jesus’ love for others. You can then see God in others and allow others to see God in you.
Prayer before and after a home visit is a must to acknowledge that we are workers of God and all we do is done in His name. What we do is achieved through God’s grace. The prayer from the Scottish prayer book is included in this section. It is a great prayer before home visiting and a prayer of thanksgiving and offering after the visit using the person’s name is important. The Spiritual session and prayer at our meetings is the most important part. These not only remind us that the motive for our work is the love of God, but also draw us together as a Vincentian family. The Spiritual Reading and reflection can be chosen by any member whether you have a Spiritual Advisor or not. It is then discussed by the members. Enough time should be set aside for all members to share if they want. There are times when we may feel discouragement or have trouble motivating ourselves; this is when we need the refreshment of a spiritual reflection. This will help us get back in touch with the reasons for our service to the poor and our membership in the Society.
These prayers are presently used by Vincentians in their personal life and at their Conference meetings. As more arrive they will be sent to you to share with your members. Please feel free to copy these prayers for all Vincentians. Lynn L’Heureux WRC training committee.