Pastor’s Note – October 11, 2018

Schweitzer UMCGeneral, Pastor's Note

Hi friend,

I want to confess to you that sometimes the spirit of negativity can get the best of me.  As I keep praying for a spiritual awakening, and search for signs that it is happening, I am all the more bombarded with thoughts of despair.  I can easily become discouraged. Can you relate? To counteract this enemy of our soul, I pray all the more for myself and others to become more expectant and hopeful for God to move in powerful and profound ways.

Ignatius of Loyola, a seventeenth century saint, fought in a military battle prior to his conversion, defending a fortress under attack. He used that experience to shed light on how negativity can attack us at our weakest points: (The Spirit of Negativity) conducts himself as a leader, intent upon conquering and robbing what he desires. For, just as a captain and leader of an army in the field, pitching his camp and exploring the fortifications and defenses of a stronghold, attacks it at the weakest point, in the same way the enemy of human nature, roving about, looks in turn at…where he finds us weakest and most in need for our eternal salvation, there he attacks and attempts to take us.

It is essential that we are aware that we are in the midst of a battle and do what is needed to fortify ourselves. What are you doing to counteract whatever the enemy is throwing at you through the fortress hole where you are most vulnerable?

Here is what I do. I call on God, asking that God “Send me your light and your faithful care, let them lead me…” Psalm 43:3. I practice a time of Daily Examen, as prescribed by Ignatius of Loyola, where you do the following:

  1. Become aware of God’s presence, asking God to bring clarity and understanding. 
  2. Review the day with gratitude, focusing on the day’s gifts.
  3. Pay attention to your emotions, what is God saying through these feelings.
  4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it, asking the Holy Spirit to direct you to something during the day God thinks is particularly important, and
  5.  Look toward tomorrow, seeking God to give you light for tomorrow’s challenges.

To learn more about the Daily Examen, you may go to the website IgnatianSpirituality.com. Regardless of your method, what is of upmost importance is intentionally fortifying yourself on a daily basis and allowing God’s light and faithful care to guide you!

Much grace to you today!

Pastor Bob