A newly minted young pastor was in conversation with his supervisor. This supervisor said John, remember, “Transformation does not take place in experience, transformation takes place in reflection on experience.” St. Ignatius said the same thing in the Prayer of Examine. Sadly, many in our culture find themselves going through entire days without even the slightest bit of reflection. Days packed with meetings, to do lists, people in and out of the office needing a word, lives so distracted and unconnected from the well of life that if they do ever slow down, guilt over superficial living becomes overwhelming.

The masters in spirituality say this is being dead to real life, living a life so much on the surface that true life and the movements of God are not noticed. I say not noticed, because God is always moving even if I am unaware. Which is what I am, often unaware and unreflective. Living life unaware may be what T.S. Elliot had in mind in his poem “Hollow Men.” Read this poem, life as sketched in this poem and lived by many I fear, does not feel like living the abundant life of Christ. Yet God offers life in abundance to those who will pay attention, be present, be aware, and reflect in all of life including days filled with activity. Reflection is the beginning of being formed in the likeness of Christ.

Spiritual direction can help with paying attention within the activities of life. If you desire a depth life, a life lived to the full including all parts of self, body, mind, soul, and social context, then contact any one listed on this site. A little reflection on experience can go a long way toward a full life lived in the care and custody of a loving God who desires all the best for us.