I spent the evening up at Mc Daniel College, listening to a friend of mine introduce the college students to Ignatian Spirituality. If you want to know more about St. Ignatius and the gift he left us, check out my page to the right.
As it turned out, tomorrow will mark the one year anniversary of my starting the Spiritual Exercises. Nancy, the person who led me in the Exercises, and I met for the first time on the Feast of St. Robert Bellarmine, which is September 17th. What a year it has been!I’m going to write about some of the various aspects of the Exercises over the next few days. This evening, I wanted to focus on the Examen Prayer, which St. Ignatius thought was one of the main keys to his spirituality. Usually coming at the end of the day, the person doing the Examen prayerfully looks at his/her day, looking for signs of God’s activity in their life.
Although there are many different models, this one was used by Nancy tonight with the college students. It’s simple and should take about ten to fifteen minutes. Give it a try.
First, place yourself in an awareness of the Presence of God: Connect with the loving companion who has been with you throughout the day.
Ask yourself one or more of the following questions:
- Why am I doing what I’m doing? (helps establish motives, what nudges me, or pushes me against my nudges.
- Have I listened to the deeper things in this day’s event’s and experiences? What have I heard or not heard?
- Who or what blessed me today? Who or what have I blessed?
- How present was I to what I was doing today? Did I allow anyone or anything to “steal my graces” or knock me off-balance?
- Where was I intentional, or unintentional about the presence of God in my day?
- What word or phrase summarizes my companionship with God today?
- What can I celebrate from this day?
- How did I look upon others with love today? How looked upon me with love?
- What was the best part of my day? The worst part?
Then sit in the “God Chair.” How did God view my day?
I then bless myself by making the sign of the cross on my forehead and encircling it. This says to me that I know that I am in God and God is in me.