i have been reading Fr Mark E. Thibodeaux’s book “Reimagining the Ignatian Examen.”
In it are 34 variations of the Examen, and all have been helpful for me to anchor myself in God.
Today, i would like to share with you one of them.
Examen 29: Places, Things, Activities
1. I begin in my usual way.
2. I spend a few moments in gratitude, thanking God for one or two of the blessings, big and small, that I’ve received today.
3. I review the places I’ve been today: home, workplace, the grocery store, a friend’s apartment, the neighbourhood park. Of all the places makes it easy for me to be closer to God and more loving toward others? I thank God for this place and tell God how much it means to me.
4. Of all places I’ve been today, which do I find to be a difficult place? Is there any place that is not healthy for me (a shopping mall, a bar)? Is there any place that I’m too attached to? I speak with God about this. I ask God for forgiveness, advice, and healing.
5. I review the material things in my life: car, phone, computer, clothes, accessories, food and drink. For which am I most grateful today? Which leads me closer to God and to my becoming a better Christian? I thank God for this blessing in my life.
6. Are any of these things keeping me from getting closer to God or others? Do any of these things lead me to sin? Am I too attached to any of them? Have I made a god of any of them? Is my ownership excessive, and am I being called to give something away and live more simply? I speak with God about this. I ask God for forgiveness, advice, and healing.
7. In the same way, I review the activities of my day: Going to work, eating, playing with the kids, exercising, watching TV, working hard at a task, sleeping, praying. For which am I most grateful? Which activities seem most “godly”? Which lead me closer to God and others? Which is a particularly good and healthy activity in my life? I speak with God about this, giving thanks.
8. Are any of my activities unhealthy, unholy, or unwholesome? Do any of my activities lead me away from faith, hope, and love? Do any lead me away from God? Am I addicted to any of these activities? I speak with God about this. I ask God for forgiveness, advice, and healing.
9. I now look back over this prayer time. What was the most enlightening or moving moment (regardless if it was enjoyable or painful)? What was my prayer at that moment? I go bak to that moment and linger there, asking God if there is anything more God would like to say or do in regard to this. Reflecting on this inspired moment, I ask God, “What, Lord, would you have me do tomorrow in regard to this place, thing, or activity?”
10. If appropriate, I make a commitment to God about this, and I ask for God’s help to keep this commitment.
11. I end in my usual way.