The Ignatian Examen was developed by Ignatius of Loyola, a priest and former soldier who formed the Society of Jesus (or Jesuits) in 1541. His students became some of the most prolific educators, scholars, and spiritual guides in the modern Church. At the core of their way of life was the Examen, a daily process of reflection designed to help them process the events of the day in light of God’s action and grace. Usually performed in the early evening, it is a simple process of reviewing the day and considering how God’s activity has been interwoven with our own.
IGNATIAN EXAMEN EXERCISE
- Find a comfortable place to sit. You should sit in such a way that you are relaxed and settled – but not so relaxed you fall asleep! Try to let go of all your thoughts, restlessness, tensions, and stress from the day, and simply be present.
- Rest and remind yourself of God’s presence. Think of how, even if you were unaware of it, God was with you throughout the day.
- Read the Daily Scripture, using it to help you settle into your space.
- Ask for freedom from the stress, anxiety, and pain of the day. Allow the grace of God to remind you of your infinite value to God.
- Think through the past day. Try to find the first thing you can remember that you are thankful for. What was a highlight from the past 12-24 hours? Thank God for the gift of that moment, and reflect on why that moment spoke to you. It will be a clue to what drives you and how God could be using you.
- As you reflect on the day, what times do you remember where you felt burdened, unhappy, stressed, or disappointed? Was there a moment where you felt you made a mistake or failed? Ask God to lead you through those times, asking what you could change. Ask for freedom from those moments, knowing that God’s grace is larger than your mistakes.
- Speak to God. Tell Him whatever is on your heart and mind, allowing Him to listen to the core of what you are expressing. Allow yourself to speak either silently or aloud.
- Finish your prayer with thankfulness to God for His presence throughout the day, and in anticipation of a new start tomorrow.
Patterns: As the week goes, try to find the patterns that emerge from your Examen. What are the times you find yourself the closest to God? When do you feel the farthest? Use the repetition of the reviewing of your day to find where God is moving in your life and use that to guide your plans and activities.
This week’s Scriptures come from the Epistles, or Letters, of Paul. Their focus is on the living of the Christian life, and how we express our devotion to God.
Monday – 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12
Tuesday – Romans 14:7-9
Wednesday – Colossians 3:1-4
Thursday – 1 Peter 4:10-11
Friday – 2 Corinthians 4:7-10
Saturday – Philippians 2:13-16
There’s an old saying that some people eat to live, while others live to eat. Well the truth is, we all need to eat – so why not have some fun! No dieting today – pick something you love and realize the truth of Psalm 34:8, “Taste and see that the Lord is good”! This week’s Sabbath is a reminder of how, while we sometimes have to restrain ourselves, God’s desire is for us to embrace the bounty He has set before us. Even if you’re on a restricted diet, find something you can eat that you love and really savour it. It’s not by accident that God used a feast to illustrate heaven (Isaiah 25:6-9).
Bake or cook something you’ve always wanted to try but never found the time to. Plan and execute one of the following extreme meals:
- 5 Topping Pizza
- Monster Mashed Potatoes
- Rainbow Jello
- Dino Ribs
- Or anything else that feels “feasty.” The idea is to eat something awesome and to enjoy!