Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, May 21, 2015
What Do I Mean, “Rummaging for God?”
We’ve looked at the Ignatian prayer mode called the Daily Examen for several days now. I am still thinking about it. Still examining it, as well as allowing it to examine me. I am amazed at the depth and breadth of this straight-forward manner of praying. St. Ignatius was brilliant for coming up with something as insightful as this.
I would like to turn to another helpful page from this helpful website I discovered. (This article is by Fr. Dennis Hamm, SJ, and was originally published in America, May 14, 1994.) Fr. Hamm uses a striking image—“rummaging for God.” But, I’ll let him speak for himself.
“And how do we go about this kind of listening? Long tradition has provided a helpful tool, which we call the “examination of consciousness” today. “Rummaging for God” is an expression that suggests going through a drawer full of stuff, feeling around, looking for something that you are sure must be in there somewhere. I think that image catches some of the feel of what is classically known in church language as the prayer of “examen.” 
Wow. And again, I’ll say “wow.” It doesn’t matter how often I think about this way of prayer, or in what ways I think of it, the Daily Examen turns me inside out. It drills down, goes deep beneath the surface, and excavates my insides. Not that it’s all bad! No! But sometimes, I can rummage around my mental drawers and forget what is in there. Or, misplace things. Sometimes, God may have me pull out something I wasn’t expecting, and examine that. A memory, or a past event, or some item I am suddenly remembering.
Yes, it can be painful. Or sad. Or bittersweet. Or just plain happy.
Dear God, thank You for the prayer of the Daily Examen. I appreciate it, even when it hurts. Or makes me sad, frustrated, or repentant. Thank You.
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