LISTENING TO GOD: CONTEMPLATIVE PRACTICES
Wednesday, March 3, 2021
Listening Through Discernment
by Robbin Brent
To “listen” another’s soul into a condition of disclosure and discovery may be almost the greatest service that any human being ever performs for another. —Douglas Steere
While many are used to hearing the word discernment as it relates to vocation or big decisions, I’d like to invite us to a way of engaging with the act of discernment in every area of our lives. Not only does the practice of discernment around the little things add up to the overall quality of our lived experiences, when we are able to use discernment in the “small” areas of concern, we are better able to call on this powerful practice when facing life’s larger or harder turning points.
Today we’ll explore the practice of Examen, which is simply a way of paying attention, of listening to God. The Daily Examen is an ancient and powerful way of reflecting on the day so that we can more clearly identify how and where God has shown up in our lives, and where God may be guiding us. We can apply this process to all the places in our lives that were touched during the day: from how we treated our loved ones as well as strangers, to how we tended to our money, our well-being, to how we showed up for the people and situations that we hold most dear.
Here is a brief description of the daily Examen, adapted from ignatians-pirituality.com, to help you get started. At the end of the day, sit quietly for a few minutes, seeking God’s presence. Then:
• Review the day with gratitude, highs and lows.
• Pay attention to all of your emotions.
• Choose one moment from the day that stands out and pray from it.
• Look toward tomorrow, and then give everything to God to hold while you rest.
Making It Personal: If you engaged with this practice, were you sur-prised by anything that came up? Any new awarenesses, insights, inspi-ration, remorse? Is there anything you feel ready to do based on what you learned from this practice?