Southpoint News February 24, 2017
How often do you stop long enough to really pay attention to what is happening inside of you? Do you pause long enough to ask, “Does this thought, emotion, action bring me deepening peace and consolation, or deepening despair and desolation? Does it lead me into flourishing, or into an experience of diminishing?”
Ignatius was a master of inner attentiveness. When he lay in bed, recovering from a injury he sustained during battle, he had little to do but daydream. He noticed over time that when he daydreamed about being a great knight earning the accolades of the world through battle, he would be excited during the daydream but flat after it was over. However, when he daydreamed about living a life of adventure in service of God, he would feel consoled not just for the duration of the daydream, but afterwards as well. Lying in bed, he began to press into the daydreams that increased his sense of well being and caused him to flourish inwardly, and he began to avoid those that diminished his sense of peace.
Out of this experience, he constructed for himself a daily ritual which he referred to as his examen of consciousness. After his recovery, when his life grew active once more, he would make space, at the end of each day, to relive in his mind’s eyes the activities of the day. He would listen for things that left him with an deep sense of consolation, and he paid attention to what deadened him. He took these inner consolations and desolations as sign posts pointing towards a good way that would bring rest to his soul. (He did, however, acknowledge, that if we are pointed away from God, actively resisting God, then the path of consolation, the ancient path of life, might not at first seem so consoling but rather unsettling and challenging!) The examen remains foundational to Ignatian Spirituality. Ignatius gifted us with language that helps us pay close attention to what is happening in our inner world. Over time, if you do the examen, you begin to notice your own patterns of thought, emotion, and action that lead to flourishing and diminishing. If you’d like to explore the examen, I would recommend a little book called Sleeping with Bread.
During these weeks leading up to Easter, we will be practicing a kind of collective examen. We will be standing at the crossroads, mindfully paying attention to our inner worlds. We will be sifting through, watching, noticing the paths of thought, emotion, and action that lead us towards peace, joy, self-control, kindness, etc., as well as the paths that leave us worn out, insecure, grumpy, envious, and so on. We are asking God to show each of us our own unique collections of habits that trip us up, that keep us from experiencing the ancient way of rest and life. We do this, knowing that we are loved unconditionally by God, and that we are safe to embrace our shadow sides and bring them into the light.
February 24th @ 6 pm YOUTH GROUP, Hubbard Home
February 26 @ 11:15 ALL IN SERVICE: Soup Lunch after the service. Bring nibbles to share.
March 1st @7:00 PM AGM @ Sunnyside Church
We would like to compile a booklet of lenten reflections created by members of our community around the themes we are exploring this Lent. Together we will be standing at the crossroads, looking for what causes our lives to flourish and what diminishes our lives, asking God to show us the ancient ways that bring rest to our souls. Do you have a story, poem, or drawing of what helps you flourish? Of what diminishes life? Would you like to share it with our community as a way of deepening our reflections? All ages are welcome to contribute. Please have your material in to Angela this Sunday.
A Message from Veronica and Lenin
“As some of our Southpoint family already know, Lenin has accepted a work transfer which means that, come the end of April, the Cruz family will be moving to Chetwynd, BC (a small Northern community 12 hours north of here). Right now, we are in the midst of selling our home here in Langley, and once sold, we will take a house hunting trip to Chetwynd for a week before officially moving in April. Although we are excited about this new adventure and the great opportunities for Lenin’s career, we are also sad to be leaving behind our home and especially our Southpoint family. We have been supported and loved by this community through the highs and lowest of lows for which we are eternally grateful. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers during this time of transition.”
An Easter Experience – RSVP!
How about we get a group together to go see “Testament” at the Pacific Theatre, Saturday April the 15th for the 2 p.m. matinee? Brent, who serves on the board of PT, is willing to arrange tickets for us. If more that 10 go together, the PT will give us the group rate of only $20 per person. They have also given us the possibility of reserving seats ahead of time and only paying for half of them up front and then paying the rest when we go take in the experience. Interested? Let Brent know ASAP. Check it out:
Love little ones and desire to see them grow in God?
We are in need of another teacher for our Sprouts (3-6 year olds) class! Please talk to Jen Hubbard if you think this might be a good fit for you.”