A Spiritual Reflector’s role is to listen and reflect on the volunteer’s experience in order to help that person move closer to God.
Ignatian Volunteers are expected to take advantage of IVC’s four-part reflection on their service experiences. This includes
- Keeping a journal and reading reflection materials
- Meeting once a month with a spiritual reflector
- Meeting as a community each month with other local Ignatian Volunteers
- Gathering periodically throughout the year for a retreat or a day of reflection.
The spiritual reflection conversation is an important part of the IVC program. A Spiritual Reflector is either a lay person, Jesuit, or other religious who provides one-on-one companionship with individual volunteers. In these private conversations, the centering reflection is on the volunteer work itself and on the contact with persons who are poor. It is in the “good works” of the volunteer’s experiences, in company with the poor, that God’s presence is felt and personal transformation occurs.
The spiritual reflection conversation can be greatly enhanced by the volunteer’s personal journal keeping. Journaling provides “grist” for the conversation. The reflector can help broaden the experience by talking about relationships, making connections, asking questions, providing scriptural references, and by making comparisons with the volunteer’s prior work and life experiences. Spiritual Reflectors make every effort to encourage the gifts of the volunteers and to reflect with them on how they are able to contribute to the service site’s work and in their contact with persons who are poor. A valuable exchange between the reflector and the volunteer might include the sharing of personal insights, discussion about the value of spiritual reflection, and the discovery of the meaning behind the experience.
“The reflection is the essential part, because… you really can get very burnt out and sucked dry. It’s coming together as a group to pray and then to have your one-on-one reflection monthly that keeps you going. We discuss the difficult challenges as well as the joys in finding the presence of Christ in the work we’re doing.”
-Kathleen Spreen, IVC San Diego, as quoted in The Tidings