1st Corinthians 11

“Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat the bread and drink the cup.” 1st Corinthians 11:28

Life is messy. Work, relationships, successes and struggles without a global pandemic are difficult enough to navigate. Add to life the broken order of a chaotic, sinful creation, emotional turmoil and divisive uncertainties and a person can feel completely lost any given day. The disruption of the past year has shaken many of our rhythms. The daily grind we used to complain against would be a welcome return for many.

I don’t know about you, but this year in particular, every day seems to blend together. I have felt less accomplished in just about everything I’ve set out to do. Largely, this is in part to every day feeling the same.

I have recently reconnected with a practice of examination that was initially published in 1534.  Ignatius of Loyola wrote the Exercitia Spiritualia (or Spiritual Exercises) as a set of reflections to help someone grow in the Christian faith. This exercise has reminded me more and more of Psalm 118:24, which reads: “This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
What most of us miss when we read that Psalm is tense of the verb “rejoice”. It is a volitional imperative. That means it is a verb intended as a command—do this—with intentional, willful response. The action is intended to be by choice, not force.

The examination that Ignatius wrote to Medieval followers of Jesus is beneficial for us today as well. In the reflect and response section, I’ve included the order for the daily examen, intended to be prayed through toward the end of the day. I hope as this year comes to a close, that this exercise will help you make sense of not only the year that was, but also the days to come.

1. Ask God to guide your personal reflection. I want to see my day through God’s eyes.
2. Give thanks. God made the day you experienced. You crawled out of bed to a gift.
3. Review the day. Be honest. This is where the good, the bad and the ugly have safe space to come out. Where did you succeed? Where did you struggle? Where did you sin? Where did you experience grace?
4. Face your shortcomings. Own your junk. Confess what needs to be confessed. Ask for help where help is needed. Experience grace. Be forgiven. Live in love.
5. Look forward. Where do you see a need in your life tomorrow? Where do you most need God to intersect your life?

In light of many struggles we face today, know that Cornerstone has some help forward for you. Check out our home page for resources we can provide right now: www.cornerstonecrystal.org

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