Friday, August 17, 2007

Sleeping With Bread

Sleeping With Bread is a Monday meme that introduces the practice of the examen, based on the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius. The concept comes from Mary-LUE at Sleeping With Bread blog via AutumnRose.

Here is the background story from Mary-LUE:
During the bombing raids of WWII, thousands of children were orphaned and left to starve. The fortunate ones were rescued and placed in refugee camps where they received food and good care. But many of these children who had lost so much could not sleep at night. They feared waking up to find themselves once again homeless and without food. Nothing seemed to reassure them. Finally, someone hit upon the idea of giving each child a piece of bread to hold at bedtime. Holding their bread, these children could finally sleep in peace. All through the night the bread reminded them, "Today I ate and I will eat again tomorrow." (Linn, Dennis et al, Sleeping
With Bread, p.l)
The examine is a way of reviewing your day developed by St. Ignatius which involves looking at the ways in which you were best able and least able to serve the Lord. You can use the questions below or make up your own:
  • For what am I most grateful? Least grateful?
  • When did I give and receive the most love? The least love?
  • When did I feel most alive? Most drained of life?
  • When did I have the greatest sense of belonging? Least sense of belonging?
  • When was I most free? Least free?
  • When was I most creative? Least creative?
  • When did I feel most connected? Least connected?
  • When did I feel most fully myself? Least myself?
  • When did I feel most whole? Most fragmented?
The idea is to hang onto the ways in which you have been most nourished and give to God the ways in which you have been least nourished. I think if you include the "least nourished" side of things, it is important to give them to God after you bring them to mind. Also, if you discover any shortcoming of your own while doing this exercise, ask God's forgiveness and strength for the coming day.

I love the image of sleeping with bread--hanging onto the things that make you feel most alive and most nurtured by God.

As a Catholic, the whole concept of "Sleeping with Bread" brings to my mind, Jesus as the Bread of Life. Meditating on the Eucharist and Christ's love for us is a wonderful way to feel gratitude. The times when I have felt most fragmented have been those times when I have hidden myself from God. That is never worth it. God is always there, ready to nourish us "in the breaking of the bread and the prayers." (Acts 2:42).


Mary-LUE said...

I'm glad you'll be joining us. I've taken most of the summer off but will get back in the swing of things soon. I look forward to reading your Bread posts!

4HisChurch said...

Thanks, Mary-lue!

Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Lovely image...& daily thanksgiving is essential...

4HisChurch said...

Yes, definitely.

:o) said...

thanks for the thought-provoking post!

4HisChurch said...

You're welcome!

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"Slavery ended in medieval Europe only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves and then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews). Within the context of medieval Europe, that prohibition was effectively a rule of universal abolition. "— Rodney Stark

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