Becca A (senior and one of our student leaders) gave a talk after our Wednesday Night Dinner on the Ignatian Prayer, the Examen, a great prayer to make a part of one’s daily prayer routine. Below is the outline of her presentation.
- The Examen prayer is a technique described by St. Ignatius Loyola who said it was a gift from God.
- A spiritual exercise/ technique for prayerful reflection
- Can be done daily or twice daily (at noon and night)
- 5 Steps:
- Become aware of God’s presence
- Review the day with gratitude and thanksgiving
- Pay attention to your emotions and feelings
- Choose one feature or feeling from your day and pray on it
- Look toward tomorrow
- Fr. Dennis Hamm: “Rummaging for God” or going through your day like you would a drawer, looking for something you already know is there. In this case you are looking for God’s presence in your day
- Is understood as a sort of examination of conscience by some — looking at how one’s daily life stacks up against the Ten Commandments
- There are many versions, which look for different things. An Ecological Examen, for example, looks for instances of God’s presence in nature throughout your day. One for Lent would have different questions to guide your thoughts differently.
- Reimagining the Ignatian Examen is a book by Father Mark E. Thibodeaux SJ and also an app that provides different ways to pray the Examen.
- You will always have something to pray about — the last 24 hours
- Face the Lord where, when and how we are
- Teaches respect for honest feelings and to pray on them
- Helps find something for confession
- Prevents “Deism”, or the idea of a “clock-maker God” — one who created the world, or clock, started it and then became hands-off (see Catechism n.285) Sharing our daily life with God counteracts the idea that he is not present with and invested in each of us.
Some helpful links from above:
And here’s a helpful summary of the Examen from BustedHalo