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Week One: First Day

A Basic Challenge

The truth, even though I cannot feel it right now, is that I am the chosen child of God, precious in God’s eyes, called the Beloved from all eternity and held safe in an everlasting embrace . . . We must dare to opt consciously for our chosenness and not allow our emotions, feelings, or passions to seduce us into self-rejection.
I am realizing that I may cognitively assent to that, but do I live like that? And I’ve found the answer to be no. So I have to think through it and pray about it. To live that way consistently is one of the basic challenges of the Christian life.
Henri Nouwen

The Examen and Baptismal Remembrance

Members of TCC are invited to participate in a daily spiritual practice. We have learned that a daily spiritual practice helps us to:

  • Discover our authentic self
  • Experience the presence of God
  • Learn to be fully present
  • Remember God’s story
  • Envision God’s future

The most central spiritual practice for Christians is the daily remembrance of our baptismal identity. There are many spiritual practices or techniques that can be a part of this daily baptismal remembrance.

The spiritual practice we will use for the 40 Days is the Examen. The Examen was initially taught by Ignatius of Loyola. It is a way to recognize that our deepest calling is what gives us life, energy and meaning. It is a practice intended to reflect on our experience during a day by asking

What am I most thankful for?
What am I least thankful for?
or
What gave me life or vitality?
What took my sense of life or vitality away?

We encourage you to discover the best time of day for you and stick to it. Remember that a daily spiritual practice is not an additional demand on your time, but a time to feel your freedom to use and enjoy your time. It is a kind of daily vacation from the pressures and to-do's of life.

Baptismal Remembrance with the Examen:

  1. Remember your baptism, making the sign of the cross and saying, “God accepts all of me”
  2. Take some long, slow breaths
  3. Ask yourself: When did I feel fully alive today?
  4. Ask yourself: When did I notice my sense of life draining away?
  5. Notice over time what gives you life and do more of that
  6. Pray the Lord’s Prayer
  7. Remember your baptism, making the sign of the cross and saying,  “God is creating me”

Read the Gospel Text

Please read the text for this week and Pastor Terry’s reflection on it. These can be found at

http://www.catacombchurches.org/blog/
https://www.facebook.com/catacombchurches
or in the weekly email from TCC.

We encourage people to read the Gospel text for the week at least twice and the pastor’s reflection at least once. This is one way that we prepare for a meaningful conversation during house church worship.

When we engage in this practice, we aren’t doing it just for ourselves – when we are prepared for conversation we also are assisting others and the whole group to grow.

It is important to know that well formed questions are just as important as insights.

The conversation that takes place in the house church worship is not a competition or a debate club. It is a part of how we discover who we are as a group and what we are called to do.

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