An Examen at the End of a Relationship

When significant relationships come to an end, whether due to geographic distance, drifting apart, or brokenness through conflict, we have the task of integrating that relationship into our memories and identities. As Christians, we are formed to be people who exist in loving community, always reconciling mercifully with one another, but at times human limits prevent this from being possible. As we seek to make sense of where God is in broken relationships, an Examen […]

The Examen of the Future

The Examen is part of our tradition. Usually thought of in terms of St. Ignatius’s Spiritual Exercises, it has emphasized watching sins and failings. That emphasis was deepened by our post-Enlightenment emphasis on rules and counting things. The whole thrust of discernment as a spirituality for the twenty-first century has parted from that. We have opened ourselves deliberately and boldly to finding how the Holy Spirit is leading us here and now. Before we get […]

Stop-Sign Examen

It’s traditional to undertake the Examen in the middle of the day and just before bed, but for the last few weeks, I’ve found myself starting the day with a version of this reflective prayer. It starts as I watch yet another car blow through the stop sign at the edge of the neighborhood. Sometimes I honk; sometimes I sigh. Always, I am aware of God’s presence and grateful—as one should be at the start […]

Applying the Examen to Praying the Stations of the Cross

In a National Review interview with Kathryn Jean Lopez about his new book Station to Station: An Ignatian Journey through the Stations of the Cross, author Gary Jansen states: Everyone has time for prayer. You can pray when you’re going to the bathroom or taking a shower. You asked about stillness. Well, take one particular station with you in the shower in the morning, or to the sink while you’re brushing your teeth, and think […]

Social Media Examen

Have you ever found yourself using social media, wondering: Why do I hesitate to read comments on a news article? Why am I stuck wondering what sparked someone’s Facebook discussion? Why do I linger on infuriating Tweets? Why do I walk away from social media at times, feeling exhausted, angry, or less myself? Is this even good for me? Jesuit Post contributors Ken Homan, SJ, and Colten Biro, SJ, have asked those questions and suggest […]

The Beatitudes Examen

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know about the Examen, a prayer designed to help a person make a daily review with a focus on gratitude and openness to the Holy Spirit’s direction. This was the prayer St. Ignatius considered most important for a consistently God-ward journey. The steps of the Examen—pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance; review the day; identify where you saw God at work and give thanks for it; […]

The Examen and Holiday Family Times

This time of year brings many family gatherings. Have you thought about how prayer—specifically the Examen—can help you appreciate, grow, or heal your relationships? Andy Otto offers a Family Examen that might be a nice prayer to spend some time with during these busy days of December. The special Examen is available in audio and print formats at Andy’s blog, God in All Things. Becky Eldredge shares Five Ways the Examen Can Play a Role […]

What Gifts We Notice in the Examen

How does a person develop a thankful heart? It starts with having an attitude of gratitude. The Examen is a powerful prayer tool to help us cultivate a stance of grateful living. All five steps of the Examen are rooted in principles of gratitude. Asking the Spirit for help in seeing our day: The Spirit calls us to action, moving in us and through us. The Spirit works in and through others and helps us […]

The Money Examen

Who knew that St. Ignatius, aside from being a battlefield warrior, a prolific letter-writer, and a spiritual genius, also left wisdom for financial situations? Of course, in his day and today, many would say that a man who came from the wealthier class only to deny it all and end up begging on the streets must not be too financially savvy. However, after a bit of moderation, Ignatius seems to have found the true key […]

Take, Lord, Receive, My Work and Career

I work in an office where the pace is breakneck speed. I pray during my morning commute, but pride kicks in as I park: “See you at noon, God. I’ve got things covered.” Then I read the Suscipe. Uh, oh. Do I mean it? I pray, “Take, Lord, receive, well, most of me. Can I hang on to this area—and that—while I ‘let you’ take care of the rest?” So I’m taking an incremental approach […]

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