Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, May 23, 2015
More About Feelings, in Ignatian Prayer
I am a touchy-feely kind of person. Always have been, always will be. It’s the way God created me to be. I can appreciate people for whom intellect is all important. Gee, sometimes I get all up in my head and be all intellectual about something, too. But my primary focus is all about feelings. Pastoral care. Sympathy and empathy. I suppose that’s one reason Ignatian prayer and meditation appeals to me so much.
We’re continuing with Margaret Silf’s book Inner Compass; so much in that book to assist us in our journey with God! Again, the steps of Silf’s process with feelings are similar to the steps of the Daily Examen we viewed earlier this week. This examination can be positive or negative, depending on the sort of feeling touched upon.
Silf gives a striking description of how my “inner furniture” can be disturbed—by others as well as by me. You know the “furniture” I mean. That “inner furniture” in my secret inner room, deep inside of me. Or, my feeling-place inside. St. Ignatius taught his friends how to track their feelings and moods, too. He showed them how to “discover the deeper movements in their hearts, learning to recognize the sold-ground mods as consolation and the moods of inner turmil as desolation.”
Sadly, others may not realize where that “furniture” is located, or when they may crash into it, unknowingly. Another amazing (and again, sad) thing is that we may not be aware of this “inner furniture” until after we’ve crashed into it. That’s why I need to keep in regular contact with God. I need to regularly pray and reflect upon what is happening to me in my daily life. That’s on a daily basis—or, at least several times a week.
And the best part is: God will help me to make a regular practice of this “housecleaning.”
I’m afraid I do not take regular advantage of God’s kindness, God’s offer of assistance. At least, I am not consistent with my prayers for Daily Examen. (“Review of conscience,” as Silf calls it.) Dear God, help me to be more consistent, especially since You are ready and waiting for me, every evening, at the end of the day. Thank You for the opportunity. Please, help me, God. Amen.
Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.
 Silf, Margaret, Inner Compass: Introduction to Ignatian Spirituality (Chicago: Loyola Press, 1999), 50.