View from the Vicarage (May 2019)
What a lovely taste of summer we’ve had- it must be the dreaded season of exams! All the preparation and time spent on revision now comes into its own as pupils are invited to jump through the exam hoops set before them; an incredibly stressful time, as youngsters pave the way for their future path.
It’s also the season for annual meetings. I have attended a number of these over recent weeks, as various groups including our church communities celebrated what has gone well over the past year, and contemplated how things could be improved looking ahead to the next year. I always find it incredibly useful to reflect on the past in order to learn for the future.
Ignatian spirituality includes the Daily Examen as part of its spiritual discipline. Folk are encouraged to use this technique of prayerful reflection on the events of the day, to help detect God’s presence in what has happened, and to help discern God’s direction for that individual in the days to come. The Examen is an ancient church practice described by St Ignatius of Loyola in his Spiritual Exercises, that can help us see God’s hand at work in our daily experience. To be most effective Ignatius suggested it should be practised twice each day.
Over recent weeks our congregations have been focusing on the power of prayer to sustain those in need and help nurture calm in times of trouble. So I invite you to take time out from your busy schedule to do just that; to pray or reflect on what God has been doing in your midst, and contemplate how we can all work together to make our villages even more caring and supportive to those around us, as we take up Jesus’ call to love our neighbour as ourselves, and see Christ in every stranger we meet.