Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Tonight during our Wednesday Night Bible study I will be leading my folks through the Awareness Examen. This is a an ancient prayer practice that I learned about while at one of Randy Kuss' God @ Center Retreats. It is described in the book I am using for the class called, Creating a Life with God: The Call of Ancient Prayer Practices.
The practice, created by St. Ignatious of Loyola, is about noticing God in your everyday life. Particularly you are noticing what things bring you toward God and what things pull you away from God. I have found this to be a wonderful practice in my spiritual life and one of the things I "added" (or actually reclaimed) this Lent was to do this practice each day. Each morning I reflect on the day before answering these three questions: What happened yesterday that I am most grateful for? What happened that I am least grateful for? And where did I see the presence of God?
I turns out my questions are a condensed version- here are some that Daniel Wolpert suggests in his book I mentioned above:
• What am I most/ least grateful for during that time?
• When did I feel a sense of love, peace, joy, life (the gifts of the Spirit)?
• When did I feel exhausted, dead, drained, angry, mean?
• What specific events, thoughts, or experiences draw my attention?
• What aspects of that time repel me?
• What moments from that time speak to me of my deepest desires?
• What things feel out of place, uninteresting?
I think God may chuckles a bit that we have to invent entire practices just to notice the Divine presence- but such is the nature of being human! As Ferris Bueller says, "Life moves pretty fast, and if you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you might miss something."
Let's not miss out on noticing God!