Lenten Examen

No worries, yes, that’s spelled correctly.  The Daily Examen process is one that I heard of from one of my professors, and he uses it as a spiritual practice.  I hadn’t had a chance to try it, but figured that this Lent would be a good time to ease into the practice, as it is done weekly here.  While I’m keeping the “Lent Madness” portion of Lent activities for the church on its blog, this is more of an individual exercise, and I figured I’d keep my thoughts here.

The Daily Examen process is generally a series of five steps created by St. Ignatius of Loyola:

1. Become aware of God’s presence.
2. Review the day with gratitude.
3. Pay attention to your emotions.
4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it.
5. Look toward tomorrow.

During Lent, there is The Word (in this instance through Monday, it is to reflect on Matthew 6:5-8), reflect, give thanks, pray for light, find God, anything wrong, and what now?

Giving thanks is something I do daily, many times a day, as I realize that not only does God gift me with many blessings, but the blessings that may not be so obvious – leading to new things to learn, values to practice, alternative viewpoints to consider, etc.

Pray for light – now this is a new concept, but I think fits in with the latter part of thanking God for blessings.  “I ask the Father to let me see my day as the Holy Spirit sees it, and to show me what I need to see.”  Bit of a different twist, but hopefully I’ll be able to identify further blessings in that way.

Find God.  God is in all, in everything.  But the questions here ask, what have I done?  Did I do as I planned?  What happened that I didn’t plan and how have I responded?  What did my heart tell me.  I’m a horrible list-maker, so I actually do plan for things to accomplish.  I’ve had getting blog posts done for a while, which I finally got to today.  However, it wasn’t actually on today’s list.  So, since today is Thursday, and work schedules are a bit odd on Thursdays in any case, I’ll get to some of the things on my list, and have some left for tomorrow.

Anything wrong?  Oh, today is a day for family difficulties, and trying to figure out logistics of shipping something that was a gift, but isn’t registered to me.

What now?  What do I need from God today?  What do I need to do today and tomorrow?  Pray.  Not going to pray for patience, as I already have a situation that requires it, and don’t want anymore at the moment.  Tomorrow will be a better day, and I’ll have better answers for these same questions. 🙂

Ordination

I have neglected to write about ordination until today, simply because life has been so busy!  However, I wanted to include a couple of things that made a huge impression on me.

First was the solo that was sung as I was kneeling before the Bishop – Canon Sarah Hussey had created an accompaniment with hand bells to what is essentially an acapella song, so it wasn’t constant, just every few notes. It created this sense of otherworldliness that led into the ordination itself. Then the laying on hands – most of the priests just touched me, but there were three that had a firm grip on my shoulders. Afterwards, I was grateful for those.  I might have had an out of body experience otherwise. 🙂

Having a sister with a similar gift to mine, except that she sees the spiritual condition of people and things, where I see the health condition, is fascinating, and a great boon in this situation. When the Bishop laid hands, it felt like I was suddenly connected, not just to the Bishop, but back, back, back, all the way to the beginning in that line of succession. It blew my mind. What my sister saw, however, was that the group of priests with their hands on me glowed gold as a group, but that when the Bishop laid hands, she finally understood what people meant by the “heavenly host”; that the ceiling disappeared, and the souls of those gone before were there and blessing the whole process. As a staunch Catholic, she made the statement that she would have no problem taking communion at our table, as the presence of Christ was right there.

The other interesting aside from my sister was that priests glow their normal colors when in street clothes, but when they are vested, they take on the authority of Christ, and their individual nature disappears. In a fascinating sense, she differentiates the colors between male and female priests, with the males glowing a royal blue color, and the females glowing the color you would identify with Mary – the lighter blue color. Apparently in normal clothes, she sees me as a rose color (like her grandmother), but as soon as the stole went on, I changed to the light blue.  I asked if it was similar to what she saw in nuns who wore habits, and she said no, they glow in shades of yellow.

I was just blown away by the whole process. It was *not* what I expected after the diaconate ordination.