Prayer of Examen

The Prayer of Examen is a daily spiritual exercise credited to Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556), who encouraged fellow believers to engage in the practice for developing a deeper level of spiritual sensitivity and for recognizing and receiving the active presence of the Holy Spirit. At the heart of the practice is the desire to become increasingly aware of God’s presence and the Holy Spirit’s movement throughout our day.

The Daily Examen becomes a prayerful reflection on the events of the day in order to detect God’s presence and discern his commitment to us and direction for us.  The Examen is a practice for the Church that can help us see God’s hand at work in our whole experience.

Ignatius thought that the Examen was a gift that came directly from God, and that God wanted it to be shared as widely as possible. One of the few conventions of prayer that Ignatius made for the Jesuit order was a requirement that Jesuits practice the Examen twice daily—at noon and at the end of the day. It’s a habit that Jesuits, and many other Christians, practice to this day.

This is a simple version of the five-stage Daily Examen that Ignatius practiced:

  1. Become aware of God’s presence. (This is referred to in contemplative literature as “stilling,” and means to take the opportunity to dial down and become attentive to God’s presence.)
  2. Review the day with gratitude.
  3. Pay attention to your emotions.
  4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it.
  5. Look toward tomorrow.

“Take, Lord, receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will. All I have and call my own. Whatever I have or hold, you have given me. I restore it all to you and surrender it wholly to be governed by your will. Give me only your love and grace and I am rich enough and ask for nothing more.”  — Ignatius of Loyola

Check out examen.me.

Random Thoughts From My Stickies

I use the application “stickies” on my Mac to make notes to myself and to collect random thoughts, quotes, or pithy sayings to contemplate or study. Following are some random thoughts from the last few weeks. Sorry I didn’t always record the source…

*God’s perfection doesn’t merely reject or punish evil: it overwhelms it with good.

*Grace – God’s love for tomorrow coming into our life today

*Love – Shared hope (Kim McManus)

*There is a difference between obligation obedience and covenantal obedience

*Shalom results from living in the tension of…

  1. Contentment (Phil 4:6-7)
  2. Justice – making things right (Lk 18:7b-18a) “Shalom-makers”
  3. Righteousness – right relationship, navigate the relationship (Rom 8:31-39)
  4. Loyalty
  5. Community (Col 3:12-17)
  6. Wholeness
  7. Integrity
  8. Salvation

*Paradigm shift  — Gap between stimulus and response (Covey)

*Rules keep us immature

*Virtue comes as a result of moral effort – It’s like learning a new language, it becomes second nature

*We don’t need to learn our love language as much as we need to learn the language of love

*Learn to think Christianly

*The nature of virtue ethics

*The Spirit works to re-humanize us

*Love is not our duty, it is our destiny

*Take a nurturing response toward your emtional self, listen to the emotional self in the presence of God (Ps 139:1-3), draw your emotional self toward God, stay and wait/receive in God’s presence (Ps 46:10; Lk 10:42) — It is scary to be deeply revealing in God’ presence.

*Soul ache

*God comes to you disguised as your life. –Paula D’Arcy

*Every person we meet is Jesus in a distressing disguise.  –Mother Theresa

*Worship is the primary means to transformation

*Gideon and God test one another. God is available for interaction. Invitation to be bold (vs foolish). We are free to be bold.

*God “tests” us to reveal our hearts to ourselves (he already knows).

*OT is brutal and filled with war. The NT concept is that our battle is NOT against flesh and blood (Eph 6).

*Glory of God is among the poor.  –Joel Green

*Take calcium to sleep better

*Spiritual Formation – Intentionally partnering with the work of the Holy Spirit to help people learn to love the Lord their God with all of their heart, mind, soul, and strength.

*Joy does not mean the absence of sorrow, but the capacity to rejoice in the midst of it.  –Gordon Fee

*Bidden or not bidden, God is present. Erasmus/Jung

*God is the goal of God – John Piper

The embrace of faith, like any embrace, is visible.  –Scot McKnight, Dancing Grace (Chap 13)

*Marriage is a duel to the death which no man of honour should decline.
I refuse to die while I am still alive.
–GK Chesterton – Man Alive