How the Examen Made Me Smile at the Mailbox

My son recently developed a new fascination with the mailbox. “Mom, how do I get a letter from me to someone else?” he asked one day with tremendous curiosity. We went through the steps: write the letter, put it in an envelope, address the envelope, and don’t forget the stamps. Then one morning my son showed me a picture he had made for his best friend that he desperately wanted to mail. It was perfect […]

The Light of Grace Is Always Shining

A couple of afternoons a week, I bring my work to a local coffee shop. It gives me a chance to get out of the home office, attack a problem in a different setting, and get a gorgeous view of Lake Washington. Sometimes I put on headphones, drowning out the coffee-shop conversation, but sometimes, I’ll keep my ears open for quirky banter. Like today, when the barista and a customer shared a candid moment, and […]

Appreciating Emmaus

There’s much to appreciate in the story of the disciples on the way to Emmaus, says Michael Sparough, SJ. For one: It’s in looking back on the experience that they realize just how impactful it’s been. I think it’s that insight that encouraged St. Ignatius Loyola to teach his followers the importance of a daily Examen. It’s in looking back and sifting and sorting through the events and the feelings of our day that we […]

Not in Control

This post is based on Week Three of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. Recently I used one of the versions of the Examen found in Fr. Mark Thibodeaux’s book Reimagining the Ignatian Examen for my daily prayer. This particular Examen (Saving F.A.C.E.) invited me to take a close look at four things: My fears My attachments My need for control Illusions of entitlement It nudged me to take an honest assessment of my last few weeks […]

The Examen Curbs Anxiety

J. Michael Sparough, SJ, writes that “Cardinal Bernardin, the late, much-loved Archbishop of Chicago, once told a group of us priests that he was a chronic worrier. But he found that using the Ignatian Examen was of great benefit to him in curbing his anxiety.” Many others have also found the benefits of praying the daily Examen. If you’re praying through An Ignatian Prayer Adventure, this week invites you to reflect on the steps of […]

Puzzle Pieces and the Examen

Below is the text from the video, an excerpt from my new book, Busy Lives & Restless Souls: How Prayer Can Help You Find the Missing Peace in Your Life. Learn more about the book here. So, what is the Examen? In a nutshell, it is a method of prayer that you normally complete at the end of your day—it takes about ten to fifteen minutes—that involves praying about the past twenty-four hours of your […]

Four Ways the Examen Helps in Discernment as a Couple

In recent posts, I shared a process of discerning as a couple and also five ways the Examen can support us in our marriage. Now let’s take a closer look at four ways the Examen can help us discern as a couple. 1. The Examen helps us get clarity on what we are discerning. It is hard to make a choice without clearly knowing what the decision we are being asked to make is. My […]

Five Ways the Examen Can Play a Role in Marriage

I remain thankful for all who taught me Ignatian spirituality. It is not only the spirituality that guides my relationship with God, but it is also the spirituality that guides my marriage. Here are five ways the Examen can play a role in marriage. 1. The Examen helps us pray our marriage. When I teach someone about the Examen, I often say, “It helps you pray your life.” Our relationships and marriages are significant pieces […]

The Challenge of the Examen

L. White, who blogs as the “Still Practising Catholic,” experimented with prayer journaling the Examen. She found it challenging to notice areas of her life that might need to change: One small example is at the Weekend the alarm goes off in the morning and I cajole my husband into getting out of bed and making me a cup of tea. He doesn’t work at the weekend and I realised that I was cutting his […]

The Examen Can Change Your Life

Karen Beattie writes at Aleteia’s For Her about “The Daily Prayer That Can Change Your Life,” which happens to be the Examen. At the time, my husband was in school and my career was in flux and we were struggling. We were also trying to adopt a child. I couldn’t see God in any of it. Where was he? I started calling him “Ghost God.” It was the middle of a frigid and hard Chicago […]

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