Finding God in all Things
The Examen is a popular way of praying and was developed by St. Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556) ,founder of the Society of Jesus (The Jesuits). This prayer invites us to reflect on our day and focus on two essential questions: where did I experience consolation and desolation? Consolation meaning whatever leads us to greater faith, hope, and love and desolation meaning whatever leads us away from faith, hope, and love. St. Ignatius believed that the key to a healthy spirituality was to find God in all things and to see God’s hand at work in the whole of our experience.
Sit quietly and relax. Light a candle if you’d like.
Reflect back over the last 24 hours and look for your moments of consolation. You may use these questions as a guide:
For what moment am I most grateful?
What experience felt most life-giving to me? When did I feel most contented, most like myself? When did I sense God’s presence most fully?
Reflect again over the last day or week and look for your moments of desolation. You may use these questions as a guide:
For what moment am I least grateful? What experience drained life from me?
When did I feel the most discontented, uncomfortable, and the least like myself? When did God seem absent?
Do I notice God's presence in any of this? Spend a moment in prayer aware of the presence of God in both the consolation and desolation. You may choose to breathe in gratitude from your moments of consolation and to breath love, compassion, healing into your moments of desolation.
Give thanks for both moments and for what they have to teach you about what gives you life and what does not. Release yourself into God’s care, and rest in the comfort of God’s everlasting love.
When did I give and receive the most love today? When did I give and receive the least love today?
When did I feel most alive today?
When did I most feel life draining out of me today?
When today did I have the greatest sense of belonging to myself, others, God, and the universe?
When did I have the least sense of belonging?
When was I happiest today? When was I saddest today?
What was today’s high point? What was today’s low point?
What was life-giving today? What was life-taking today?
Sleeping With Bread: Holding What Gives You Life, Dennis Linn, Sheila Fabricant Linn, Matthew Linn, 1995 Paulist Press
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