Lenten Blog Day 17 – Examen
Yesterday Jeff Nelson preached on the prayer practice of the Examen .developed by St. Ignatius of Loyola in the late 1400s. Examen is a important prayer practice and Jeff’s sermon was powerful. If you get a chance go and listen to it (Rofum.org). Jeff asked the congregation to look back at the day in prayer using these five steps.
Relish the moments that went well and all of the gifts we have today.
Request the Spirit to lead us through the review of the day.
Review the day
Repent of any mistakes or failures (turning to a new path)
Resolve in concrete ways to live tomorrow in a better way.
There are many variations of the Examen but in its simplest form it is the practice of examining your day in the presence of God; it is taking time at the end of the day to look back and look for God. I love this quote from Dr. Dennis Hamm where he calls this practice “rummaging for God”.
He says it is like, “going through a drawer full of stuff, feeling around looking for something that you are sure must be there. “ He calls that an accurate description of what it is like to pray the Daily Examen. We look back on the previous day, rummaging through our “stuff,” and finding God in it. We know he is there.
Here is a step by step version of the prayer practice that is similar to the steps above, but with some interesting variations.
- Become aware of God’s presence
- Review the day with gratitude
- Pay attention to your emotions
- Choose one feature of the day and pray from it.
- Look toward tomorrow.
I end today with a quote from the Ignatian Spirituality website.
“(The Examen) is actually an attitude more than a method, a time set aside for thankful reflection on where God is in your everyday life.”
I’m going to try this for a few days …..more to come
Grace and Peace,