The Examen In St. Ignatius Of Loyola

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Almost 500 years ago, St. Ignatius of Loyola was wounded in battle, which led him to be bed ridden for months as he recovered. During that time, he began reading books about the life of Christ and the deeds of saints. As he retreated into his own imagination, he began to see himself in a new light. He wrestled with feelings of desolation and consolation, and was able to associate these feelings with events in his life. This is how Ignatius first began learning the process of discernment. As Ignatius deepened his spiritual insight, he brought together his meditations, reflections, and prayers, and created the Spiritual Exercises. They are used to assist with discernment through consistent prayer and contemplation, as well as to help build …show more content…
The examen is a valuable prayer for spiritual growth because it includes both gratitude and reflection, two components to a healthy, spiritual mind. It is the cornerstone of Ignatian prayer and is used to recognize the movement of the spirit in our lives to discern His path for us.
The examen requires prayerful reflection on the day’s events and is to be practiced twice a day, once at noon, and before bedtime. And while the spiritual exercises in general can be a huge time commitment, the examen is not. It is powerful and can be done in about fifteen minutes.
The examen that Ignatius outlined in the Spiritual Exercises has five points: 1) be grateful for God’s blessings; 2) ask the help of the Spirit; 3) review the day, looking for times when God has been present and times when you have left him out; 4) express sorrow for sin and ask for God’s forgiving love; 5) pray for the grace to be more totally available to God who loves you so totally (Fleming, 2009).
Over the years, many different versions of the examen have been created to better adapt to changing audiences, but are all based on the same ideas and insight and will always have five steps or movements. Each step has a purpose and certain requirements to be followed as we strive to recognize his works in our
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James Martin said to think of it like a movie playing in your head. Before beginning this step, one should ask God to guide the direction of their heart and mind as this is a time to reflect on the emotions and feelings that were experienced. These feelings could be boredom, excitement, fear, or anger. But beyond those feelings, also recall sounds, tastes, textures and sights. It is ok to involve all of your senses. You will want to recognize what motivated you to react the way you did in particular situations. Both positive

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