Friday, 8 May 2009

Die every day

Opening Prayer

Here I am Lord,
Speak to me
within my heart and soul.
I am listening.

Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians 1 15:30
‘I die every day’


The idea of thinking about death after the trauma of Easter seems unwelcome. We have had the Resurrection – why not simply believe the Golden Truth – that he is Risen and everything is going to be all right.

That would be so simple to believe, except it’s not really. Everything is not all right; in our lives we still find sorrow and sadness and loss. And there is only much you can achieve by putting on a happy face.

Paul didn’t have a problem with the idea of death or dying. Dying, for Paul, always gave you another chance –the Resurrection proves this. After all he only ever met the Risen Christ – his starting point, his whole understanding came from the knowledge that to become greater there is a need to die – as the wheat seed fall to the ground and dies to become a plant which then produces more seeds.

Because every day of our lives bad things happen; they happen to us; we do them to other people; it is part of the society we live in; as Paul says Sin is unavoidable. But unavoidable doesn’t mean ‘might as well give up’ - living in that mindset is not living in the Spirit.

Finding our way out means being prepared to ‘repent’ - to turn ourselves around; to let go of what is not good and what does not feed us. The unsettled, angry, judgemental person that we can be at the end of the day must be allowed to ‘die’. It may be painful; criticism, even self-criticism usually is; it may not be where we want to be or who we imagine ourselves to be but it must be faced. This dying stops us becoming overloaded with guilt; with blame; with the damage done through ours and others actions; regrets that layer over our souls leaving us defensive and disjointed.

We need to know that Christ has redeemed us – will get us back for our second, third and forever chance. As the seed dies; as the sun sets; as the leaves fall we will not mind the dying because it is through this that we take our part in the Resurrection, through this we become part of the body of the Cosmic Christ.

Look back in forgiveness

In many spiritual practices there is an exercise called an Examen, this may take place once or twice a day – certainly at the end of the day as part of our nightly prayer. It may be called an examination of conscience but it is much more than this.

For the Examen we should find the quietness, time and attitude to look back and ‘see’ our day, noticing the effect that the world has had on us and where we have felt the presence of God.

The Examen is a prayerful act. It is important that we ask God to be with us in this journey – it is his influence and his Grace that helps us to see the truth.

Without any accusation, blame or guilt – there is nothing we can do about most of these actions now –but we can see where we have not been close to God. Having noticed them and maybe seen where another way might have been possible, we can express our sorrow and regret.

Make sure that you notice and give thanks for all the good in the day as well. Bring yourself into relationship with Christ; as a brother, advisor and friend, asking for his help and support for the day ahead. Remembering that, with Christ, the option is always Love. A new start is there for all of us; every day.

Closing Prayer
May the blessing of the Sacred Three
The Father who gave us the Word
The Son who is the Word
The Spirit who opens the Word within us
Be with us today and evermore.


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