Receive the ultimate affirmation by praying The Beloved Prayer — a three-part guided meditation composed by Arthur LeClair for use in solitude, with a spiritual director, or in small prayer groups.

Sit relaxed and at ease. Have confidence that God's love will show itself in some way. For the first ten minutes, without fuss, say the following words slowly and fervently:

Jesus, You are the Beloved.

Repeat the words as necessary. Let your heart fill with nonverbal praise and thanksgiving. Let distractions float by, even when they press upon you. After a while the distractions will seem less and less urgent as you let them go. Simply be with Jesus in this precious moment.

Then, gently and without fanfare, move on to the next ten minutes. Paul reminds us in Romans 9:25 that we too are destined to become the Beloved. Another color is added to the beauty of this scene:

Jesus, I am the Beloved.

Let your core-being soak up God's favor. At first, this shift might seem jarring. But rest in the depth of prayer and let this truth settle in.

Then go on to the next ten minutes. I used to imagine that this part would be a distraction, but I have found it to be a rich and holy connection with others.

Jesus, we (all) are the Beloved.

Let people come into your heart: a neighbor, a friend, a relative, some one you read about in the morning paper. The important thing is not to exclude anyone. Your heart will bring to the surface the ones you need to give attention to.

At the end, simply conclude with a word of thanksgiving, or the Lord's Prayer.

Arthur LeClair in Spiritual Direction by Henri J. M. Nouwen