A Formal Model

A formal, adaptable model for Theological reflection

Artists who open themselves to spiritual awakening will produce liturgical art that allows others a deeper experience of prayer.

Theological reflection leads to the discovery of truths. It is based on honest, authentic, open dialogue and is capable of revealing and honing an idea, image, symbol, or action step from sources of information including lived experience and the Christian tradition. It is a spiritual practice that, through the wisdom of the group, provides new meanings for, among other things, how we live, see, act, and interpret situations and frequently helps individuals recognize God’s movement in their own lives. For the purpose of creating liturgical art, theological reflection will also deepen the art committee’s understanding of the particular season, liturgy or event and lead to an image, feeling, experience, or other inspiration upon which the art will be based.

What theological reflection is:Theological reflection is a means to deeper understanding of a situation, an opening for new thinking on a subject, an enrichment of something not fully appreciated, even a solution or steps to resolution of a specific problem. It is a means of bringing “life experience into dynamic conversation with the wisdom of Christian heritage”  which “creates contexts for long-lasting insight and significant growth in faith.”[33]

What theological reflection is not: Theological reflection is never a tool for manipulation, coercion, or for advancing one’s own vision for a purpose. It is not an opportunity for grandstanding, complaining or pressing an agenda. It is not meant to analyze one’s own personal problems, although helpful insights which can be taken away may emerge. While the process of theological reflection can include catechetical moments, education is not its intention.

Appropriate postures and attitudes of a group gathered for Theological reflection: Vulnerability, openness to spiritual wisdom, detachment from preconceived notions, patience for the process, a slowing down of the mind, a surrender of the need to be right, a willingness to yield floor time to listen carefully to another person’s story as well as the ability to accept choices agreed upon by the majority.

A process for leading  a Formal Theological Reflection

[33] Patricia O’Connell Killen and John de Beer. The Art of Theological Reflection. (New York: The Crossroad Publishing Company, 1994)