Examen – Session 5

As found at: Ignatian Spirituality.com, this six-session series is led by Jim Manney, author of “A Simple, Life-Changing Prayer. Discovering the Power of St. Ignatius Loyola’s Examen”. See: Lunchtime Examen.

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Session 5 (March 13 – 19, 2013) – Extract: “What does the examen have to do with being honest with God?”

This session is being posted right at the end of it, due to a very busy week with student progress reports, etc.  Recalling different points of the examen throughout the day helped me to remember (intermittently) God’s presence in all the hubbub, so I could ask Jesus to place more peace in my heart.  The point in Session 5 that had me pondering the most was that of honesty with God.  I thought about how, if one were doing a retreat with a daily meeting with a spiritual director, what the point would be if we didn’t open up – if we tried, as Jim Manney points out, to put on a “good face” and not reveal any of our real difficulties or shortcomings.  There seems to be a fine balance between admitting to the dark and also having the courage to admit to the light within, without false pride.  God, of course, already knows everything about us, so what is the point of telling Him our shortcomings (since the examen isn’t the same as the sacrament of penance)?  The point is really communication; honest communication.  Then I thought how very much this is what the life of the Trinity is all about – communication among the Three Persons in One.  And since the examen is very much directed between ourselves and each Person of the Trinity at various points in prayer and reflection, it occurred to me that doing the examen is helping us enter more fully into a Trinitarian life.

1) Father, please give me the grace to see what I need to see.

2) How would I live differently if I loved myself as much as God loves me?

3) So much stress and hurriedness, Lord.  Where are you in all of this?  Help me to find you.  Did I miss any of your invitations to do something?

4) What negative feelings did I experience?  Do they point to something that needs attention?

5) What’s facing me (that I know about) tomorrow?  Jesus, show me how to respond to your love in known and unknown activities/responsibilities.

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Another beautiful Lenten resource I’m following: 24-7 PrayerLent 2013 Walk With Us (podcast or video), starting February 13, 2013.

2 thoughts on “Examen – Session 5

  1. Happy St. Joseph Day! Someday, we’ll get to say that to him (and each other) in even greater spirit, thanks be to the Divine Mercy! Wow, you’ve been too busy, girl. As for honesty, i have some weird conversations with the Lord –very glad no one can overhear– and maybe it’s in that dual acknowledgement of one’s shortcomings that His hints pour forth. By the way, Number 2 above has me utterly baffled as to where to begin, cuz there ain’t nobody loves anybody like the Lord does! Anyone got any elaboration to offer?

  2. C, for me I think it would mean I would take better care of myself (body is the temple of the Holy Spirit…), and also I think it has to do with self-forgiveness, picking yourself back up and starting over (or keeping going), recognizing our human frailty (ies) and loving ourselves in a gentle, forgiving way the same way that we are loved by Him….not to the same extent that He is able…but trying to…

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