One word makes our blood crawl in Houston, traffic! Traffic upsets our plans and crushes our hopes of every getting somewhere on time. As Americans inundated with Western cultural expectations, we expect ourselves and others to be on time. We expect to get to mass before the opening hymn, or, we hope to pick up our kids before the teachers have to call, but traffic forces us to stop. Traffic forces us add 10, 20, 30+ minutes to our extensive commutes. We might turn on the radio or call someone to pass the time, but what if we allowed the Holy Spirit to come into these moments and transform our anxieties or expectations. What if we took these moments when we are forced to slow down or stop as opportunities to slow down our anxious minds and do an examination of conscience.
Jesuit spirituality encourages its followers to do a "Daily Examen" which may be repeated throughout the day. As members of a Dominican church family, we can use the help of our younger, Jesuit cousins who have developed five easy steps to making a good examination of conscience Listed here:
- Become aware of God's presence in that moment.
- Perform a review of your day within a spirit gratitude.
- Pay attention to your emotions during steps one and two.
- Choose one element from your examine and pray with it.
- Pick a simple, but valiant resolution for you to reach tomorrow.
Now, you may not be out of traffic by the time you finish. As a matter of fact, some of you may have only moved your car 12 feet during the entire meditation. However, I promise you that your souls will be moved farther than any expectations that you may have.
-br. James MarHn Nobles, 0.P.