Spiritual Moderator: Vincentian Laity in the Church Today
Vincentian Laity in the Church Today
God, my Creator, fill me with holiness so that my work will be useful to Your work. May I realize that it is not enough to visit the poor and provide for their needs, but my heart must be free of all self-interest. May I have continually before me, my model, Jesus Christ. As a member of the Church I am called to be his disciple, as a member of a Vincentian group, may I specially imitate Jesus whose constant attention was on those who were poor. I ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
- Prayer based on Letter of Louise, L.217, Spiritual Writings of Louise, p. 260.
It is within the Church that the baptized live out their vocation. Two reflections on the Church significant in the life of a Lady of Charity are:
The Church as the People of God.
We are a people who come from God, live through God and belong to God. As a member of the Church, we are sent on mission by the Spirit. We know that the Spirit is with us. We know from Lumen Gentium, that the Church, in Christ, is in the nature of a sacrament – a sign and an instrument, that is, of communion with God and of unity among all peoples.
Lumen Gentium 1
The Church as the Body of Christ
Within the Church a diversity of vocations, lifestyles, ministries, charisms and responsibilities exist. This image of the body is important in order to understand the mission of the church of which we are a part. Through the Body of Christ we concretely enter into relationship with women and men of all time and all cultures.
Lay members of the Church, through their baptism, are entitled to participate in the life and mission of the Church. As members of the Church, they join with Christ and live life through and in the Spirit. They live in communion with one another forming one same body and one same people. Their mission takes place in the Church and in the world. They too are responsible for the life of the Church and participate fully in the Church’s mission, as Vatican II states very clearly in Lumen Gentium LG31 John Paul II in the apostolic letter Christifideles Laici states: “The lay faithful, precisely because they are members of the Church, have the vocation and mission of proclaiming the Gospel: They are prepared for this work by the sacraments of Christian initiation and by the gifts of the Spirit.
- Vincentian laity are called to holiness.
- Vincentian laity are called to proclaim the gospel to the poor.
- Vincentian laity are called to be a presence in places of poverty and suffering.
- Vincentian laity are invited to find Christ in those who are served.
- Vincentian laity imitate Jesus through compassionate service.
- Vincentian laity are asked to join justice with charity.
- Adapted from Laity in the Church Today, by J. Landousies CM –Vincentian Session for Advisors of the Vincentian Family, Paris, July, 2002, p. 296
In what ways can the images of the Church described in the reading above assist me in my service to the Ladies of Charity?
How can these images assist the group I accompany to move into the future with a belief that their work is God’s work?
How can these images of Church assist me and the Ladies of Charity group that I serve see the link between vocation to holiness and vocation to the mission of service?
Jesus, you invited Peter to be the rock on which your Church was founded. Quicken my steps as I travel the highway of the world. Keep me aware that many are the paths on which each one of us and on which each of our Churches must travel, but that there is no distance between those who are united in the same communion, the communion which is daily nourished at the table of the Eucharistic Bread and the Word of Life.
- Based on John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte
May I take seriously my role as accompanier to this Ladies of Charity unit. May all baptized persons become keenly aware of the dignity of their vocation and the consequences that flow from it in their personal life and in their life as a member of the Church. I ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen
- Isaiah 43:1-7 You are precious in my eyes.
- Jn 3: 16-17 For God so loved the world.
- Ps 8 – Who are we that you should think of us?