Daily Examen, Sunday, July 16, 2017

The mother,
her eyes watering
under the big puffy clouds
in the beautiful blue sky
as her daughter ran off
to meet new friends
at camp
didn’t notice
the empty robin’s egg shell
along the path.

Later,
the swim in the lake
was restful and relaxing
even though
the splashes of the daughter
were missed.

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Thankful Ignatian Poetry Online

Last March, I attended a workshop on pastoral care at Fordham University. It was the beginning of Lent and I spent a little time praying in the chapel before the workshop started. I picked up some literature about the Ignatian Daily Examen and thought about how I might work aspects of it into my prayer life.

In May, I went to a poetry conference at Yale Divinity School, where there was additional discussions about Ignatian spirituality, including references to the Daily Examen. It struck me. I should write my reflections from a Daily Examen as poems.

So I started two months ago. My goal was to put up a new post every evening. Over time, the poems have become shorter fragments. I haven’t always managed to polish and post them in the evening and at times, I’ve posted several at once after the fact.

I’ve also thought of this practice as part of other goals. Bringing poetry and gratitude into the daily discourse online. At times friends of mine have participated in gratitude challenges. Some post regularly about Thankful Thursdays. Others post wonderful poems about the stuff of their daily lives. It seems like these sort of posts are especially important in these current days.

I’m not sure what I will do with the Daily Examen posts I have put up. Some I may further polish into better, more complete poems. Some might be combined with others for some sort of longer poem.

I’m not sure yet. However, I invite all of you to join me in a poetic Daily Examen. A good card that is helpful in thinking about the Daily Examen can be found on the Ignatian Spirituality website.

Daily Examen, July 12-15, 2017

Daily Examen, Wednesday, July 12, 2017

It is easier to remember
God’s spirit in all things after
tasting wild blackberries,
smelling sassafras,
and watching dragonflies dart
from flower to flower.

Then,
the detritus of humans
amidst bittersweet and poison ivy
can also be appreciated.

Daily Examen, Thursday, July 13, 2017

In every parting
is a new beginning
and still the tide runs
and new tasks are planned.

Daily Examen, Friday, July 14, 2017

No matter how fast you run
from one event to the next,
there is never enough time
and always amble opportunities
to show God’s Love.

Daily Examen, Saturday, July 15, 2017

And at the end of a long week,
there are still chores to be done
but time for poetry,
reading,
and planning with friends.

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Celtic Retreat

This week I went to a wonderful retreat focused on Celtic Christianity. Near the beginning of the retreat, we broke into small groups to talk about our initial thoughts. We were asked to say one word to the whole group about our hopes for the retreat. I used the word “journey”.

I am thinking a lot about my own journey now, as I prepare to start seminary in the fall and as I try to find people and organizations that will walk alongside during my journey. For me, this word journey carries additional layers of meaning. There is the aspect of ‘pilgrimage’. Many people at the retreat had been to Iona. One had walked to Santiago. My journey or pilgrimage, right now, is much less about physical destinations and how to get there. Instead, it is more in the tradition of the “Peregrinatio Pro Amore Christi”. A quick simple description of this can be found in PEREGRINATIO, PILGRIMAGE CELTIC STYLE.

There was a brief comment about the idea of ‘Anamchara’, The Anamchara Fellowship describes Anamchara as

Anamchara is a Gaelic word for "soul friend". It was the style of formation given to a new monk or nun in a Celtic monastery, whereby the new member would be paired up with an older, more experienced monk

As I think about my journey, my peregrinatio, I find myself looking for Anamchara, perhaps not in the strictest original sense, but at least in terms of soul friends who will walk alongside me in my journey.

There was a lot of talk about Pelagius, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, and others whose writings and approach to God were seen as a threat to the Roman church, the church of Empire. I look at the decline of the established church in western culture and some of my own struggles with the established church, I wonder what sort of ecclesiastical organization might walk alongside me in my journey.

Somewhere in this is something about connecting our faith and spirituality to the vernacular. The vernacular of Rome was of emperors and empire. The vernacular of the Celts was of nature. What was the vernacular of other indigenous cultures Christianity encountered and what can we learn from them?

What is the vernacular of twenty-first century western culture, the vernacular of Millenials and GenX? While it might sound like an oxymoron, what is the vernacular of modern academia?

Somewhere in this is I find echoes of Foucault and counter narrative. I find echo of Agamben and homo sacer.

As we left, we thought about where we go from here. I spend a lot of my time these days working with and thinking about online education. How might the School of Celtic Consciousness exist online and connect with similar efforts? I have a bunch of thoughts around this as well and hope to explore all of this in more detail in the future.

Daily Examen, Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Between the long day of meetings
and the late drive home
came contemplation
on the beach
over a meal
and sharing passions.

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