why hello may. i hadn’t formally greeted you here.
you are a busy little month. and you snuck in on a saturday. shame on you. which means today is already the 4th….how is that for fair?
has may played that naughty trick on you too?
before i know it cinco de mayo will be here. and we are having guests. and we’ll be eating mexican food. homemade tortillas. guacamole. more sangria. and lots of other good stuff.
is your mouth-watering? mine is. especially since i had a shake for dinner and not another bowl of that creamy-roasted chile-chicken dish i made. damn diet.
‘xcuse the french. but really, when one is exercising. and dieting at the same time. one gets hungry. and grouchy.
i should go stuff my mouth with nuts or something.
i played tennis all by myself today. just me and a wall. and there are parts of me that hurt really bad. muscles i didn’t even know i had. and it really has nothing to do with the fact that while i played tennis with that wall. my youngest. the baby. watched me. from the second story window of his brother’s bedroom. with two rolls of toilet paper sitting on the window ledge. sniffling. crying. and begging me to let him come down. all the while making it a point to show me how. much. toilet paper. he needed to dry said tears.
the drama that boy is capable of is UNBELIEVABLE.
i tried to be a nice mama. and take them to play soccer. but then there was an incident of name-calling. and crying. and it made me mad. so i sent those naughty kittens inside.
they’ve only been home one day and already they are making me regret that i didn’t sew those slip covers while they were gone.
or better yet leave for a european holiday.
oh. i almost forgot i titled this post cheerful subjects.
who was i kidding? i just did that so you’d read me.
i tricked you. i am sorry.
actually there are some cheerful highlights.
here they are…we are reading narnia-starting with the magician’s nephew- out-loud again. this time the middles can fully understand and the baby. well,at the very least he can listen.
our simple. yet beautiful may altar is up.
the middles have started their missions. who said california history was for 4th graders? we’re getting there….if we can keep the baby from stealing all the pieces of styrofoam to use for weapons.
the baby is doing some math. addition facts. number lines and counting. as well as an insect unit. we are reading these delightful stories. and coloring in this book. he is all ears when it comes to the violent world of wasps and spiders.
and last. but certainly not least. i am extremely intrigued by Ignatian spirituality. and can’t wait to delve a little deeper. this is something that has been on my mind for years. and i am prayerfully trying to get started.
here are a few points worth sharing:
Ignatius left his Society two spiritual legacies: the examen, and the spiritual exercises. The examen (or, The Examen of Consciousness) is intended as a short daily period of reflection. St. Ignatius believed that he received the examen as a gift from God that not only enriched his own Christian life but was meant to be shared with others. The examen was a “method,” a way to seek and find God in all things and to gain the freedom to let God’s will be done on earth.
The Examen traditionally has five steps:
- Recall you are in the presence of God. No matter where you are, you are a creature in the midst of creation and the Creator who called you forth is concerned for you.
- Give thanks to God for favors received. Pause and spend a moment looking at this day’s gifts. Take stock of what you received and gave. Notice these clues that guide living.
- Ask for awareness of the Holy Spirit’s aid. Before you explore the mystery of the human heart, ask to receive the Holy Spirit so that you can look upon your actions and motives with honesty and patience. The Spirit gives a freedom to look upon yourself without condemnation and without complacency and thus be open to growth.
- Now examine how you are living this day. Recalling the events of your day, explore the context of your actions. Review the day, hour by hour, searching for the internal events of your life. Look through the hours to see your interaction with what was before you. Ask what you were involved in and who you were with, and review your hopes and hesitations. What moved you to act the way you did?
- Pray words of reconciliation and resolve. Having reviewed this day of your life, look upon yourself with compassion and see your need for God and try to realize God’s manifestations of concern for you. Express sorrow for sin, give thanks for grace, and praise God for the times you responded in ways that allowed you to better see God’s life.
The Spiritual Exercises
The term “spiritual exercises” denotes every way of examining one’s conscience, of meditating, contemplating, praying, vocally and mentally, and other spiritual activities, as will be said later. For just as strolling, walking and running are exercises for the body, so “spiritual exercises” is the name given to every way of preparing and disposing one’s soul to rid herself of all disordered attachments, so that once rid of them one might seek and find the divine will in regard to the disposition of one’s life for the good of the soul. Annotation 1, “Spiritual Exercises”
The “Spiritual Exercises” of Ignatius is essentially a manual for giving 30-day retreats, the purpose of which is to bring the retreatent to an understanding and awareness of God while dealing honestly with the failing and drawbacks that hinder such prayer. All Jesuits experience the spiritual exercises during their first year as a novice. Lay men and women are also invited to undertake the spiritual exercises under the direction of an experienced director at several local retreat centers.
The sense of the spiritual exercises can perhaps best be summed up by the introduction found in The Spiritual Exercises itself, titled “the first principle and foundation.”
The First Principle and Foundation
The human person is created to praise, reverence, and serve God Our Lord, and by doing so, to save his or her soul.
All other things on the face of the earth are created for human beings in order to help them pursue the end for which they are created.
It follows from this that one must use other created things, in so far as they help towards one’s end, and free oneself from them, in so far as they are obstacles to one’s end.
To do this, we need to make ourselves indifferent to all created things, provided the matter is subject to our free choice and there is no other prohibition.
Thus, as far as we are concerned, we should not want health more than illness, wealth more than poverty, fame more than disgrace, a long life more than a short one, and similarly for all the rest, but we should desire and choose only what helps us more towards the end for which we are created.
our faith is so beautiful and ripe with various devotions. this one attracted me for many reasons. but this month, as we focus on mary, who lived to do the will of the Father, i felt, that these exercises might actually help me to do the same.
see, i didn’t disappoint you now did i? i even gave you something to think about.
aw, i’m preachin’ to the choir, i know.
cheerfully signing off now….