Wednesday, February 20, 2013

I am still learning to grow in your love

For me, Lent is a time for getting back to basics, for brushing up and brushing off my prayer life. I feel blessed to enjoy a regular prayer practice every morning, but I've let a key part of my practice lapse in recent months --the "examen" at the end of the day.

The idea is to take the time to reflect on the moments of God's grace in the day that is closing, and where I might have fallen short in responding. It is a practice from Ignatian spirituality, the underlying foundation of the Jesuits (all of my spiritual directors have been Jesuits, so it rather fits with how I pray).

I have a card that helps me make this self-examination at the close of day. The card is tattered and in need of tape, but I still carry it in my prayer book, a gift from a member of one of our Education for Ministry groups. Here are the questions.

Light a candle, and try it out yourself tonight:

+ + +

Praying the Jesuit Examination of Conscience

1. Thanksgiving: Lord, I realize that all, even myself, is a gift from you.
Today, for what things am I most grateful?

2. Intention: Lord, open my eyes and ears to be more honest with myself.
Today, what do I really want for myself?

3. Examination: Lord, show me what has been happening to me and in me this day.
Today, in what ways have I experienced your love?

4. Contrition: Lord, I am still learning to grow in your love.
Today, what choices have been inadequate responses to your love?

5. Hope: Lord, let me look with longing toward the future.
Today, how will I let you lead me to a brighter tomorrow?

By James Richardson, Fiat Lux

No comments: