Though February is over and I haven’t let you in on it yet, I’ve been mulling over another area of Rest – the area of Spiritual Practices. If you’ve read any of the Thoughts from a Recovering Fundamentalist, you’ll know that what I experienced growing up was anything but Restful. But the Lord has been doing a work in me through a series of events, books, a conference called Allume, and different blogs. He’s been whispering to me in ways that I couldn’t imagine about things that I could never have considered having a place in my heart and life.
The idea of Spiritual Practice has only recently started to feel comfortable and maybe that’s because I’ve started to see the doing in a different light. God is showing me, ever so gently, that the things that I disdained, can actually draw me closer to Him.
There are several areas of Spiritual Practice but two that I want to focus on this month are the Daily Examen and Lent. I’ve researched the Daily Examen and there are several parts to it. According to Loyola Press you start with Stillness, Gratitude, Reflection, Sorrow, and lastly, Hopefulness. The idea of the Examen is so appealing because it is done in quietness. Part of this pursuit of Rest means slowing down and taking time to just be – to just be with God.
If you would have told me twenty years ago that my 35 year old self would be researching Catholic websites for instruction, I would have thought you were a liar. But maybe it isn’t so much how far I’ve drifted from my upbringing, but how close God is bringing me to Him.
These practices, they aren’t about approval or being ‘good enough’. They are meant to draw us closer to the Heart of God. And I yearn for that.
I yearn for the peace and rest that comes only when we are right up next to the Father.