Is the option for the poor rooted in
all my actions and in all my
choices? Does this option fulfill
Do I seek the poor, find out where
they are, and go to meet them?
Am I looking for a way to justify my
lack of real contact with the poor?
Do I try to reflect on the new
forms of poverty that exist today
and do I minister in accord with
the example of Saint Vincent de
Paul who, following the spirit of
Christ, ministered on the fringes
of society of his time?
Are the poorest, the most
disadvantaged, the those most in
need of hearing Good News my
main concern when I make
decisions in my life, in my group, in
my association, in my
When I am called to
evangelize, do I take refuge
in the proclamation of the
Good News, relegating to
others concrete service? Or,
on the contrary, do I focus
my ministry on works, taking
refuge in MY thousands of
activities and forgetting that I
am a mere instrument in the
hands of God and that
everything was given to me
to bring people to glorify
God (see Matthew 5:16)?
Do I get lost in discussions and
endless meetings conversing
about power, wealth, and
recognition, or do I spend my life
serving God in the poor?
Are the poor a true and constant
school of evangelization for me or
have I missed some lessons?
Are the poor an artificial and
relative reality, so no one is poor
enough to make me “get off the
couch”? Or can I find forms of
poverty in all people that justify my
“constant work” with the poor?
Do I live poverty? To offer better
help, to understand them better, I
have to experience their difficulties.
How can I endure the conditions of
Do I accept the conditions of the
mission that I am involved in? Do I
adapt to the place where I am,
using the means at my disposal?
Do I live like those I serve in order
to help them, or do I shock
(perhaps even scandalize) others
by my way of life?
Do the groups, movements,
parishes, associations of which I
am a member, and who call
themselves Vincentians, have the
poor at their center as their
Do I recognize myself as
poor before God by offering
God my whole life, the life of
all those I serve and the
lives of all those who have
no one to pray for them or to
be close to them?
“The Lord ... sent them out two by two”
(cf. Mark 6:7)
What I do, do I do it in the name of
the poor, as my mission, or do I do
everything in the name of my
community or my group?
What do others know about the
mission I carry out? How much
do I care about the work of my
Saint Vincent always thought
about teamwork in community;
what is my attitude in this regard?
Do I hinder the effort of those with
whom I have to work? Do I build
bridges with others or do I build
walls so that everything I do has
only one protagonist: myself?
Do I present myself with a
constructive attitude, continually
discovering and learning, like a
sponge that absorbs everything to
be useful to others, or do I find
myself always closed, full of
towards opinions different from
mine, like an impenetrable stone
that often is cast aside?
Do I encourage dialogue, criticism,
participation in decisions, sharing
When I am in charge of a
group or community, do I try
to develop and promote the
qualities of every member? Do I
promote their spiritual growth
and help them dedicate their lives to
Jesus Christ, or do I exercise my
authority relentlessly, monopolizing all
activities and limiting individual
responsibilities, thus making all
‘hostages’ of my presence/decision and
fearful of standing on their own feet?
“I belong neither here nor there, but
wherever God wants me to be”
Am I the face and soul of the work I
do, or do I allow Christ to take his
rightful place in my ministry?
Am I a detached and free person, or
do I perform the tasks entrusted to
me and try to keep my position
Saint Vincent asked the sisters to
have for monastery only the
houses of the sick; for cell, a hired
room; for chapel, the parish
church; for cloister, the streets of
the city (cf. CCD:X:530). What
would Saint Vincent say to me?
Would he say that I have it
made? Would he say that I look
for an easy life, that I am
entrenched in existing and
predefined structures? Would he
say that I try always to act in the
same way because ‘it always has
been done this way’?
Would he say that I do not want
any change in my group,
because the youngest ones do
not understand me, do not
respect me, do not know how to
do things well?
Would he say that I do not want
to let go of the responsibilities
that have been entrusted to me
Would he say that I do
not want to change
groups, when I am no
longer at ease? Would
he say I do not want
because my family or
my friends are there?
Do I live for my ‘little chapel’ or
do I really live for the mission of
Do I try to reflect on the future
and contribute to the universal
growth of the mission, adapting
and seeing changes as an
opportunity to keep the flame of
the Vincentian charism alive?
Or, on the contrary, do I lose
myself in struggles and schemes
to keep myself where I want?
Do I try to take control over what
is better left to Providence?
What is my relationship with
God? How is my conversion
journey: am I at a standstill?
“Do not conform yourselves to
this age but be transformed by
the renewal of your mind, that
you may discern what is the will
of God, what is good and
pleasing and perfect” (Romans
12:2). How can I deepen my
configuration to Christ?
How do I follow the example of
Saint Vincent de Paul? Do I
deepen my passion to imitate
the Saint of Charity?
How often do I allow myself to
be seduced and encouraged by
the words of Saint Vincent? How
can I follow his example, as a
disciple of Christ, without
making every effort to learn
more about his thinking?
If I do not allow Jesus to shine
through me, if the flame of my
charism lacks fuel, how can I
attract others to the beauty of