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Taking Time for Reflection, part 1

Reflective Journaling as a Spiritual Practice

Our personal story unfolds in real time, guided by the same Spirit in Scripture. While we often reflect on Scripture, we might not always take time to reflect on our daily lives. Reflecting on our day is like lectio divina with our daily life as the sacred text.

God comes to you disguised as your life. – Paula D’Arcy

Reflecting with God on our day can be a vital spiritual practice, helping us see God's presence in life's circumstances. This practice enhances our awareness of God's actions, making us more attentive in the present and future. Reflection allows us to unwrap, savor and go deeper into the gifts of our day, recognizing God's presence even in unpleasant experiences.

Reflection also increases our awareness of our emotions and bodily sensations. Wayne Muller in Sabbath notes that a lack of rest and reflection affects how we build community and respond to suffering. Intentional reflection helps us notice and embrace God's invitations in our lives, enhancing our experience of God's presence.

Nature is a clear reflection. Embrace all stages of life and they will teach you. Nothing in nature stands still; creation is always moving. – Paula D’Arcy, Gift of the Red Bird

Reflection can be done at the end of the day or the following morning. Many prefer a paper journal with pen or art supplies for a more embodied experience.

Steps for reflective journaling:

  1. Settle in, light a candle, and write the date.

  2. Reflect on your day with God. What do you notice?

  3. Observe any bodily feelings or memories arising as sensations, images, or metaphors.

  4. Stay with what comes, inviting God in.

  5. Savor, listen, and talk with God honestly.

  6. Journal briefly about your experience, noting your feelings.

Periodically reviewing your journal can deepen your awareness of patterns, synchronicities, repetitions, and shifts. You might want to discuss these observations with God, noticing how God's gentle creation of you is an ongoing process.

The Examen prayer, a brief review of your day, helps identify where God is active and present in your life. Look for our next post: Taking Time for Reflection, part 2, focusing on the prayer of the Examen.

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Tom Elliott
Tom Elliott

This is a beautiful reminder, Tongua. Thank you so much!

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