Editor’s word: We proceed our sequence exploring every of the steps of the Examen. We’re utilizing the Examen model from Jim Manney’s e book, A Simple, Life-Changing Prayer. We’ll take a look at a distinct step every week.
2. Give thanks.
In his e book, A Simple, Life Changing Prayer, Jim Manney summarizes the second step of the Examen this fashion: “Give thanks. The day I’ve simply lived is a present from God. Be glad about it.”
Whereas one can by no means go improper with gratitude, in the context of the Examen gratitude is greater than saying “thanks” in appreciation. Right here are some things to recollect about gratitude in the Examen.
- Its endpoint is at all times the higher glory of God (AMDG). This can be a gratitude steeped in the Ignatian idea of magis—gratitude and extra. We’re referred to as to note the presents of our days in the context of the sacred.
- It’s relational. Examen-gratitude takes place in the context of a particular relationship—the relationship between God and human. Extra particularly, it’s the relationship between the Divine Lover and the beloved (us). It’s a gratitude that presupposes God’s steady life-breath of affection and our response to that love.
- It calls for presence. Gratitude in the context of the Examen calls us to be attentive to the presents that God has positioned in our path over the previous 24 hours. God is aware of what we’d like and revel in. Maybe that’s heat solar on the face, light wind on the again, a praise from a good friend, encouragement from a co-worker, a heat cup of espresso, or all types of different good issues. But, in our haste, we frequently miss these presents which are proper in entrance of us. The Examen calls us to presence in order that we are able to acknowledge the presents.
- It encourages reflection. By way of the Examen, St. Ignatius invitations us to take a step again each day and ask for the grace to see with new eyes. With God’s assist and our personal reflective posture, we grow to be extra capable of acknowledge the presents.
- It places a cease to adverse cycles. In his knowledge, St. Ignatius acknowledged that sure thought patterns maintain us again from recognizing God’s presents. What number of occasions can we recall saying, “I will probably be completely satisfied after I attain this objective, end this undertaking, this or that scenario adjustments, or after I’m a greater individual, higher pray-er, and many others.”? This mind-set leaves us feeling unsettled and unfulfilled. The Examen encourages us to give attention to and domesticate gratitude for the blessings now we have in the here-and-now.
- It’s not sufficient, however is sufficient. After we grow to be attentive to God’s overwhelming generosity all through our days, gratitude blossoms in our hearts. We understand that no quantity of thanks would ever be enough to acknowledge the abundance of presents that spring forth from God’s love for us. And although we sense our personal insufficiency, information of this love offers rise to a real and satisfying pleasure and the sense that our gratitude is sufficient and does deliver pleasure to the Giver.
- It’s hope-filled. Most basically, gratitude is the profound feeling that arises once we acknowledge and reply to the revelation that we’re God’s beloved. The Examen is a each day check-in—a dialog—with our Beloved that provides rise to a gratitude that propels us ahead. Rooted on this loving relationship, we glance ahead in hope.
In our haste, we frequently miss these presents which are proper in entrance of us. The Examen calls us to presence in order that we are able to acknowledge the presents.
Every day observe of the Examen teaches us how one can be open to and conscious of God’s steady loving presence in our lives. It teaches us that God doesn’t look ahead to us to complete the whole lot or for the whole lot to be excellent. God is current in the good occasions and the in-between occasions, in the imperfection, and in the messes—bestowing presents on us each day. This recognition offers option to the gratitude of the Examen.