A professor teaching a class to medical interns wanted them to develop compassion and so asked them to reflect on three questions each night:
1) What inspired you?
2) What touched or moved you?
3) What surprised you?
This exercise helped the interns to be more aware of their patients as persons and led them to be more caring and compassionate doctors.
I decided to try this myself. On some days it took me a while to think of what surprised me, but often it was something small, such as a smile from a stranger walking by or a pleasant conversation on the phone with customer service. I didn't have a hard time with happenings that touched or moved me--there were many, such as parishioners warmly welcoming a stranger into their midst, a teenage boy offering to clean the church, a man tenderly assisting his disabled wife from the car. And what inspired me most was the way a woman who is a pancreatic cancer survivor lives her daily life. Her faith and her courage are amazing--she never calls attention to herself, but instead is in the background always helping others in any way she can. She continues to inspire me.
Reflecting on these questions each night helped me to see God's presence more clearly in my life and in the lives of others--it was truly a grace-filled time.
I invite you to reflect on these questions each night for a week. Does it help you to see God's presence in others?
Marie Lucek, OP