As part of our Lenten observances for 2020, we will post weekly practices here in conjunction with the "big Ideas" being discussed. These practices will also be available in a handout Sunday morning. Week one is The Examen. It is to be practiced daily, but if introducing a daily practice seems like a lot, try it once a week, along with some of the other practices we will be suggesting. You can post your own observations and experiences in the comments below. We look forward to hearing about your practice.
Prayer for our time, following the 15th century practice of St Ignatius
BACKGROUND: Ignatius was a Spanish Catholic priest who founded the Jesuit order and believed that the “Examination of Consciousness” is the most important practice a person can maintain, daily, to connect with God.
The classic “Examen” prayer has five parts: (1) Seek light to understand the past day. (2) Review the day in thanksgiving. (3) Heed the emotions of the day. (4) Choose one feeling (positive or negative) to pray from. (5) Look foward to tomorrow.
PRACTICE: Read & respond silently to the prayer prompt, each evening for a week. It may go very fast at first, as few daily moments come to mind. Keep it up, and you may work into a prayer of about 10 minutes at a time.
Begin by taking several deep breaths.
Remind yourself: I am in God’s presence.
Review the joys and blessings of this single day.
Ask: What memories of the day trigger the strongest emotions?
How did my interactions with other people make me feel, today?
Where were my struggles?
How did I make it through the day -- did I make time for myself? Did I make time for others?
Who do I want to be tomorrow? More or less of something I was, today? For myself, tomorrow, I pray…
Before tomorrow, I ask: Am I humble? Am I ready?
As I look toward a new day, what invitation do I sense from God?