Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Live Today Well, Chapter 9...
Today we review the chapter on the Examen: "Reviewing Our Daily Progress." As is usually the case, this chapter fell on the perfect week. Work has me a bit on edge right now, and when I get into that place where I notice myself being a lot less patient and uncharacteristically angry about things that annoy me, I know that I have some serious examining to do. :0 "Justified" righteous indignation really doesn't make one feel better, now does it? At least not in the long term. And so I've been thinking that some nightly reflecting on my reactions throughout each day may do me some good.
"...before the final act of going to sleep at night. St. Francis de Sales recommends that we take a few moments to consider how we have progressed along the way...the goal of this examen is simply to gauge our growth today so as to become aware of those things on which we need to improve tomorrow."
BOOM. I always need to work on things tomorrow. 😂 As we go through an examen, we should offer thanksgiving to God for the day, confess our faults, and ask for the grace of the Holy Spirit to know our faults clearly:
"Shining a spiritual light on our ourselves, we will see how we rationalize (:0) our shortcomings so as to give a more positive spin to the way we live; in this, we turn a blind eye to the truth about ourselves that should be our real concern."
*delicately clears throat*
I have no idea what St. Francis is talking about here. None at all.
There is a set aside section on facing temptations, and in it St. Francis notes that "with the single exception of sin, anxiety is the greatest evil that can happen to a soul."
We all know how I struggle with anxiety. And indeed, it ties very much into everything that I do in a day: how I react to people and situations, where I allow my mind to dwell. Indeed:
"This is especially true of thoughts that we purposely dwell on, which gives them power to grow and to influence what we say and do."
All.the.time. All the time! This is me.
And so what are we poor, sorry, anxious souls to do?
"We will make a firm resolution to correct ourselves with the help of God's grace, which we should request with all the love and devotion within our power."
This is all that God asks of us. It's really quite simple. We are the ones who make it complicated.
"After this, we will recommend our soul, our body, our whole being to the mercy of God. We will pray for the Church, our parents and relatives, and all those toward whom we have a special obligation; we ought not to forget the poor souls in purgatory. We should greet Our Lady, our guardian angel and holy patrons."
This is lovely, yes? It reminds me of childhood prayers before bed. And really, why do we give that up when we grow up? Childlike trust that God will take good care of us and ours is truly a good and holy thing.
What did you all think of this chapter? What jumped out to you? Next week, we're going to talk about detachment and retiring for the night!
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I find and examination of conscience hard to do. It is so easy to rationalize my actions and think it wasn't that bad and/or other people have done worse. Therefore I found the part about asking the Holy Spirit for help to know our faults helpful. I have heard this before but it is always good to hear it again. Also, "If in our examination we find no faults, let us humble ourselves profoundly before God and thank him, admitting nevertheless that we have committed some faults about which we have neither recollection or awareness." This quote stood out to me because I have felt this way more times than I would like to admit but St. Francis has a plan even for those times. One other thing that stood out to me was the idea that we should examine ourselves right away when we have committed a fault and make a mental note to include it in the evening examination. I like this idea since it sounds like it could make an evening examination easier since I often find it hard to remember what exactly happen during the day or to have rationalized the fault away by the end of the day.ReplyDelete
Melanie, I completely agree with the rationalization point. I do the exact same thing! Holy Spirit, help us! :0Delete