Presentation on theme: "The Awareness Examen Finding God in All Things Part of an Introduction to the Spiritual Journey."— Presentation transcript:
The Awareness Examen Finding God in All Things Part of an Introduction to the Spiritual Journey
What do we do, now that He’s gone? We live in a materialistic age, without the human Jesus to remind us of God’s Face. How do we remind ourselves that God is here? “Ascension”
As you develop your intentional spiritual practice… … you learn to be mindful in stillness and silence… and listen… … you develop an intentional relationship with God … you deepen your sense of following Jesus … you grow in your faith through sharing with your faith community SILENCE LECTIO DIVINA GOSPEL CONTEMPLATION SAFE SHARING
… now you want to be able to notice God in all things AWARENESS EXAMEN
Paul’s image of God: “For in [God] we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28)
Can you see God in all these things?
It’s easy to find God in a sunset… How do you find God in a quarrel? … in a loss? … in everyday life?
In this evolving universe… … we observe two sets of forces:
-One constructive, growthful, up- building, loving, moving the universe forward towards something grander
-One destructive, counterproductive, spiteful, small-minded, risking moving the universe back towards something more primitive
The Awareness Examen… … is a daily process of - celebrating God in the constructive processes - and searching for clues of God’s presence in the destructive processes
Why do a daily Awareness Examen? - Because we need to hold on to what gives us life - Because we need to remind ourselves of God’s constant presence - Because we need a minimum spiritual discipline to keep us growing
We start from the act of faith… … that this is God’s world and God is in everything … and God has said that “all manner of things shall be well” (Julian of Norwich)
Listen to Scripture – God is in all things! Isaiah 43:2 – When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned; and the flame shall not consume you Romans 8:39 - For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our lord.
Wherever and whenever you encounter… LOVE BEAUTY VITALITY … you know God is present. The easy part…
Wherever and whenever you encounter… HATRED, INDIFFERENCE, APATHY UGLINESS, NEGLECT DEATH, GREED, SELFISHNESS … you search for clues of God’s presence. The hard part…
So… 1. Be still 2. Invite the Spirit to help you see more clearly 3. Review the day… 4. Remember when you experienced love, beauty, vitality - and give thanks for God’s presence THE AWARENESS EXAMEN
5. Remember when you experienced pain, sadness, loss, grief, loneliness Allow yourself to grieve, be angry, sad… Then search for glimpses of love, beauty, vitality: –new life, forgiveness, insight, new perspective, unexpected support, new energy to carry on… Then give thanks for the hidden presence of God in the midst of your pain
The Awareness Examen is your daily “converter”: - It celebrates the Good - It helps convert the Bad into some form of Good - Then celebrates that Good too!!!
Our exercise for today: Review your day yesterday Invite the Spirit to shine on the events of that day Where did you experience God’s Presence – love, beauty, vitality…? Where did you experience God’s apparent absence – indifference, ugliness, loss…?
Our exercise for today: Give thanks for moments of God’s Presence Ask God to help you see God’s Presence in the moments you experienced an absence Try to find God in all moments, in all things…
Review 1)Spiritual practice is to the Christian what a workout is to an athlete – essential! 2)Being a Christian is being called to grow in our relationship with God and our discipleship with Jesus 3)Silence, Lectio Divina, Gospel Contemplation and the Awareness Examen are traditional spiritual practices 4)Church is to be the safe alternative community where we can share our spiritual journey with others in safety and trust and be nourished for our work of compassion and justice in the community
What next? Create/participate in a Christian faith community Maintain your daily spiritual practice Establish a relationship with a spiritual director Take a silent retreat at a nearby Retreat Centre Read books on Christian spirituality Participate in spiritual activities in the local – Guelph/Kitchener-Waterloo – area Bring your spirituality to church on Sundays! Teach your kids and grandkids about spiritual practices