Spiritual Practices in the Daylight

clear, sunny day over tree in fieldIt occurred to me many years ago, when I was in college, that I spent a lot of time and energy looking for spiritual insights. I was always on the hunt for what God had to say to me. I stayed alert for new information, new ways to pray and conduct myself.

However, I’d already amassed quite a fortune of spiritual insights. I’d been in church since childhood, attended countless retreats and seminars, and actively participated in the student faith community on my campus. The crucial question was not, What new thing can God teach me today? but Have I integrated and applied what I’ve learned so far?We don’t need to look for new and innovative spiritual practices this summer. Spiritually speaking, it’s broad daylight, and right in front of us, every day, we see the truth of what we need to do.

  • It would be nice to learn a specific kind of contemplative prayer, but do I bother to pray—with intent and openness—the Our Father, at least once a day?
  • Perhaps there’s a future for me as a spiritual director, but am I listening with great love and attentiveness to the colleague who is in my office this hour?
  • It might be truly gratifying to take this course on the New Testament, but have I read and meditated on the Scripture readings for Mass this week?

Pretend that your life has been in shadow for the past week. And yet today you wake up, and the room is full of light, and you walk outdoors and can see everything clearly.

What do you see? What is God asking you to do—what need or opportunity is right in front of you?

What spiritual practice has been here with you all along but you forgot it or neglected it?


  1. looking forward to each day
    I am also looking forward to expanding my exploration of Ignatius that started about 16 months ago now.
    Thank you

  2. I used to practice the examen every night, but I’ve been neglecting it recently. I think stumbling upon this article is God’s way of asking me not only to begin practicing the examen again, but to take time throughout the day to be aware of God’s presence and blessings in my life.

  3. Oh my gosh! I feel as though you are speaking directly to me! Thank you for opening my eyes even just a little bit.


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