"The examen, based on the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius, helps a person hold onto what spiritually nourishes him by looking at what is giving him consolation in his life or causing him desolation. It allows someone to express his gratitude to God for the good stuff and turn to him for solace for the bad stuff. It is quite simple. You simply ask yourself, in the last day/week/month what gave me consolation and what caused me desolation."
I'm a day late with this week's entry - we'll call it vacation hangover. I was exhausted yesterday, and had lots of things to catch up on at home, so didn't get my post written, but it has been bouncing around in my head for several days, ever since I was riding around in Nikki's car Thursday night and we rounded a corner and I saw..........homeless people.
Yep, I live in enough of a bubble that the act of seeing homeless people on the street startles me. But honestly, I don't have the kind of life that takes me downtown at night - I've never been a "nightlife" kind of gal. Intellectually, I know that every city has its homeless population - I even know where they would be in my city. But I don't ever just happen upon them like I did Thursday night. And suddenly, all I could think was, "It is freaking cold out tonight. How are these people going to make it in a couple of months, with 2 feet of snow on the ground?"
I give money to Hope Ministries, the local shelter. I sponsor a child through Compassion International. Most of the time, I feel pretty good about myself and my actions to help the poor and needy. But Thursday night, all I could think about was that I got to go back to my nice, warm hotel room, and that lady had to spend the night propped up against a cement wall. What makes me so lucky? Why am I safe and warm, and she is not? What makes me inherently more worthy, that God, or Lady Luck, or whomever chooses to bless me, and not her? And how in the world can I do anything, ANYTHING, that can make her life better? My little donations won't make a dent in the grand scheme of things. There will always be those people, propped up against the cement walls, while I sleep in my bed.
And every day that I have a home to live in, and floors to vacuum, and beds to make, I need to be grateful. Every day. Because I could be that lady, on the street in Minneapolis, sleeping against a wall.
If you'd like to contribute your own bread, join us here.