“In the night I meditate in my heart; I ponder and my spirit broods” (Ps 77:7). Reflecting or meditating helps to reevaluate events of life, and draw conclusions for further action. However, reflecting is possible only in silence and concentration.
“Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous deeds. I consider my ways and turned my feet to your decrees” (Ps 119:27; 59). The Scripture offers us examples of reflecting. Moses considered why the burning bush was not consumed. David meditated on the Lord’s goodness toward him, especially that his throne would be firm forever. Mary was pondering an angel’s greeting, what sort of greeting it might be. Joseph, as a true Israelite, also reflected on events. When he found that Mary, his bride, was with child, he was thinking about the situation in which he found himself. The Scripture says, “Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream” (Mt 1:19-20). Joseph, a righteous and honest man, was reflecting and looking for an answer to the question, “What should I do?” He was looking for a solution to this difficult situation. And God did not disappoint him. Later, in Bethlehem, Mary and he could ponder on the fulfilled promise of God, who became flesh, and lived among us.
Blessed Alphonse Marie, still a child, reflected, and for hours on end she was occupied with the thought of what she should do and how she should behave in order to be more pleasing to God. So she often was found in a quiet corner of the house, where she prayed and meditated undisturbed. She was thinking and looking for an effective means of protecting herself from sin. When she was reflecting how she could make atonement for offenses committed against God on Sundays, the Lord sent her a thought that praying the rosary together in the church on Sundays and holy days would keep many souls from sin. The Catholic monthly journal of Alsace wrote about her, “For a long time now she has nothing to do with the things of this world. Thus, she has a special agility and lightness of spirit, a discernment that allows her to read the consciences of her fellowmen; and she exercises a great influence on those around her.” (PERRIN, J.: The Life of Mother Alphonse-Marie Eppinger, p. 34). When founding the Order, Blessed Alphonse Marie in the darkness of rising doubts asked herself whether all of this was reality, or if whether she was the puppet of wishes and imaginations. Yet, trusting God, in silence she persevered in reflecting on all that the Lord had shown her about His work. She recommends to her Sisters, “Fathom unceasingly the mystery of your Divine Master; meditate on His life by day and by night in order to conform your life to His” (Luttenauer, J., Thoughts, p. 8). The fruit of well-done meditation is, “If a soul is in sin, she repents; it vivifies her zeal if she is tepid; it strengthens her in sufferings and trials, and fortifies her against any temptations to which she might succumb.” (ibid, p. 17). In March 1850, less than a year after the foundation of the Congregation, Blessed Alphonse Marie was thinking that the cloister was already too small, she felt urged to entrust all her cares to St. Joseph. On March 19, 1850, she consecrated the Congregation to him; he was to be their protector and provider; he would build that new house for them. Later, Rev. Reichard wrote to his Bishop, “The Lord is in a hurry with help for His work. How could it be otherwise, with St. Joseph as the Protector and Builder!” (PERRIN J.: The Life of Mother Alphonse-Marie Eppinger, p. 63).
Let us reflect.
Let us meditate, especially on the word, which the Evangelists left for us in the Scripture.
There the Lord gets us to know His will and plans, which He prepared for us.