May 20, 2019
by Beth Samson
Creighton University's Campus Ministry
click here for photo and information about the writer

Monday of the Fifth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 285

Acts 14:5-18
Psalms 115:1-2, 3-4, 15-16
John 14:21-26

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Recently my spiritual director and I were on a walk on a beautiful spring day in Omaha. I was sharing with her about some of the many new things going on in my life right now – newness that is both good and presenting challenges. As she is so gifted at doing, my spiritual director helped me name that in the midst of all of this newness going on in my life, there is no doubt that God’s loving presence is woven throughout, but that the way this love is being revealed is new.

In the Gospel today, Jesus tells us that if we love Him, then we will be both loved in return and Jesus will reveal himself to us. Any of us, and I do hope all of us, who have experienced loving and being loved knows that how this love is revealed changes and develops over time, depth of relationship, and experiences. The ways that I am finding myself being called to love Jesus in my spirit and through my actions is changing and developing, and so the way Jesus’ love for me is, in return, being revealed is also likely changing and developing.

This newness brings more experiences of the infinite ways God loves me, but it also presents the challenge of attuning my awareness to noticing the new ways God’s love is being revealed to me – maybe in ways I’ve never discovered before.

I know I love God. I know God loves me. If I love God and God loves me, then God is finding ways to reveal that to me. How can I bring new eyes and an open heart to my daily life in order to notice how God might be revealing God-self to me now?

As I live into this question, all of this newness, and am reminded of the reciprocity of love through the Gospel, I might suggest for myself and anyone else who may feel a similar invitation in their own lives, to pray the Examen.

The Examen is one of the greatest gifts left for us by St. Ignatius of Loyola. It is a prayer to be prayed daily – one so important to Ignatius that he told his earliest companions that if there is only one thing they do every day, that they pray the Examen. This form of prayer invites us to look with gratitude on our day as we notice when we experienced the closeness of God’s love and/or when we felt distant from God’s love. By praying it with it over time, we cultivate awareness of how God is revealing God-self in our lives. The grace of awareness, especially in the newness, is one I could certainly benefit from right now.

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