Feb 072012

We cannot attain the presence of God because we’re already totally in the presence of God. What’s absent is awareness. Little do we realize that God is maintaining us in existence with every breath we take. As you take another breath (right now!) it means that God is choosing your existence now, and now, and again now. We have nothing to attain or even learn, only something wonderful to accept. We do, however, need to unlearn some things.
~ Richard Rohr

Jan 302012

Until recently I have struggled with understanding how the awareness examen worked. It has always felt for me like the parts didn’t flow together well. I considered the possibility that I was just not suited to this form, (not everyone takes to every form of prayer) but it is such a foundational mode of prayer that I could not let it go.

I love to create alliterative mnemonics for spiritual practices to help me remember how they work and when I finally changed words of the examen to make it more memorable it started to click. The words I came up with were: Request, Review, Respond, Resolve. Request God’s presence, Review your day, Respond to what God shows you, and Resolve to do better tomorrow. I realized after working with that schema for a while that Review and Respond are more in dialogue than I had originally understood, so there are actually only three movements in the awareness examen as I perceive it now: Request, Reflect (review and respond), and Resolve. And then I translated those Rs to Ns because I use Rs to talk about Lectio Divina (I’ll save that for another post). (did I mention how I love alliterative mnemonics for practices?) Continue reading »