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An Acronym for Reflection

By Damian Torres-Botello

Something I like to do during my 31MinsForPeace is what St. Ignatius called an Examen. The Examen is a technique of prayerful reflection on the events of the day to detect God’s presence in our life, and discern God’s direction for us. To help me recall the steps of the Examen, I use an acronym: AGAPE. Agape is Greek for love. Agape love is not like a brotherly/familial love or a romantic love between two persons. It is a self-sacrificing kind of love. This type of love is the love that God has for us. In John 3:16 it is written that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”  This is agape love.

The following Examen uses the word ‘agape’ as an acronym to root this prayer/reflection in God’s agape for us and to remind us each day is given to us through Christ’s life and sacrifice. When I pray I make an attempt steep myself in in awareness and gratitude of God’s agape love.

Aware

Become aware of God’s presence in this moment. Focus on God’s love around you.

Gratitude

Ponder three moments you are grateful for in your day.

Ask

Ask God for the ability to reflect honestly; sift through the happenings and emotions of  your day.

Pray

Choose one feature (event, feeling, etc.) of your day and pray from it.

Embrace

Embrace tomorrow by looking ahead. Identify something you are looking forward to or something you are feeling uneasy about and invite God into that occasion.  

Conclude with your favorite prayer or by saying the Our Father.

Words from this paragraph were taken from two sources: The Daily Examen by the writers of IgnatianSpirituality.com and Loyola Press; and What is Agape Love? A Bible Study by Jack Wellman.

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Lingering Over God

By Maureen Conroy from The Discerning Heart: Discovering a Personal God

God’s touch, though taking place in a moment of time, lives on within us forever. When we experience God’s love, God’s self-giving, we are never the same. We may return to some of our old ways of being and acting, but deep down within we are not the same

We can continue to let an experience of God bear fruit within us by going back to it and lingering over it. Through this remembering, lingering, and reliving process, we open ourselves to God – we allow God to move within us, to touch our hearts again so that our own experience of God ripple deep within us and can continue to make a difference in our lives.