[Amended as deleted and underlined in red on 24 Feb 2016, pursuant to (1) Fr D’s departure for further studies and (2) my participation in a CBN retreat activity coupled with reading Boss’ recommendation of Cure for the Common Life by Max Lucado.]
There is nothing quite like the faces we see once a year during the annual CNY visits to mark the passage of time. Then there are the penumbral indicators to track the ebb and flow of life events – who starts giving out red packets and who stops, the small changes in the visiting schedules that belie the seismic changes in relationships, other halves that we see or do not see again.
This year, CNY feels a little conflicted. On one hand, I feel burdened by what lies ahead in the work week. On another, I feel compelled to celebrate these two days, especially since Lent begins immediately the following day.
I am setting Lent aside as an official period of Ignatian discernment. I rushed through What’s Your Decision? as preparation. Then I came up with a plan based on the contents therein (which is really quite good stuff), with 7 checkpoints as follows:
14 Feb: State my Choices
21 Feb: List of Pros and Cons
Evaluate the List List of Mesa Moments
Imaginative Exercises Evaluate the Lists
Discuss with Fr D Imaginative Exercises
20 Mar: Make a Tentative Decision
27 Mar: Confirm the Decision
Undergirding this process are my Lenten resolutions to pray the Examen everyday, fast and exercise, and to start pro bono work. The Jesuit authors write that “[o]ne of the surest signs of desolation is spiritual lethargy. Typically, a person in desolation is not naturally inclined to pray.” Accordingly, St Ignatius counsels in Rule 6 not to be passive in desolation, and to counterattack by “praying more, gently but firmly examining our consciences, training our bodies, and doing good works for other people.”
Time to get off my butt.