Sunday, December 27, 2015

Finishing 30-Day Contemplation

Only three days to go!  Yes, I know this is a 30-Day Challenge, but since December has 31 days, I figured I'd round out the month with a bonus day of contemplation.  Besides, St. Ignatius was not around when living apostles were on the earth, so he didn't have the chance to reference the reading I've added for Day Thirty-One.  You will find a link there to a document written 16 years ago.  It is the testimony of the fifteen men that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sustain as prophets and apostles for our day.  Whether or not you subscribe to the belief that God speaks to prophets in our day, I encourage you to read their words and see how they jive with how you feel about Christ.

I think these last Exercises are particularly fitting as we draw to the end of a year.  The new year is a popular time to make resolutions to change.  What I love about the most important work of Christ's life--and it continues today--is that He continually invites us to change and turn to Him.  I encourage you to contemplate what you can change about your life, commit to a plan to make that change happen, and then do it!

Day Twenty-Nine
Question:  How have I changed this month as I have searched myself in relation to Christ and His example?
Read:  John 17:3, 11:25-27, and 14:6
Ponder:  Can I set my spiritual sights higher?  If so, what particular steps do I want to take?

Day Thirty
Write what you feel about Christ now that 30 days have passed.  Compare what you wrote with your first entry.
Read:  Isaiah 40:5 and Psalms 119:24
Ponder:  What is most precious in my life?

Bonus!  Day Thirty-One
Question:  What more do I want to learn about Jesus Christ?
Read:  "The Living Christ: The Testimony of The Apostles"
Ponder:  How can I get to know my Savior personally?

1 comment:

Mary said...

Over the course of December, I got five days behind on the Exercises. But I did finish on January 5! Here are my thoughts about the process, from my journal entry January 3:

"Day Twenty-Nine How have I changed this month as I have searched myself in relation to Christ and His example?
I actually don't feel like I've changed a lot in the past month of studying Christ's teachings. This is probably because I already study the scriptures almost daily. But there are small ways in which I've changed some:
- I am more committed to stand firm in my testimony of Christ.
- I feel led to find a course that will let me teach others of Jesus' ways.
- I am both more humble and more accepting of my weaknesses.
- I am more prayerful.
- I appreciate more the Holy Ghost's role.
- I am getting better at being grateful.
- I am better at giving others the benefit of the doubt.
- I have fed my marriage with love.
John 11:26 'And whosoever liveth and believeth in my shall never die.' If I keep my faith in Christ--through belief and action--I will not experience spiritual death.
John 14:6 As I become Christlike, I come to the Father."

I hope those of you who also took (or will take) up this 30-day practice felt like you grew at least incrementally, and that your faith in and relationship with Jesus and mankind has been strengthened. Please share any thoughts you would like about your own experience. I am interested in whether meditation became a part of your practice, and if so, how has that changed you?