Those of you who have taken our Servant Leadership course know that so much of its wisdom centers around practice; around spiritual practices that are designed to help us move from our ego driven personalities to a deeper, larger self – our essence that is connected with the source of all that is. Whether we call that source God or Universe or something else entirely, it is from this source that we step forward as our truest and best selves, equipped with compassion and energy to serve with the gifts we have been given.
In these isolated times JSC is offering the opportunity to join with others for brief spiritual practice once a month. Last month, former JSC director Susan Gladin and servant leadership teacher Nancy Spencer introduced us to The Examen. Information about The Examen is below for those who weren’t able to join us and we hope you’ll consider joining us on Tuesday, March 23 from 8-8:30PM for a new spiritual practice.
The Examen is a spiritual practice developed by Ignatius of Loyola as a way of reflecting on the day. Dennis Hamm, SJ uses the analogy of rummaging through a drawer full of stuff, feeling around, looking for something you are sure must be there. The Examen is a way to “rummage” through the events of the day looking for where God has showed up. In its most simple form it is practiced in the following five steps:
- Become aware of divine presence
- Review the day with gratitude
- Pay attention to your emotions
- Choose one feature of the day and pray from it
- Look toward tomorrow
A quick google search will yield a number of different questions to reflect upon within each step. A few examples are:
- Where did I see the divine today? Have the eyes of my heart beheld the divine presence in all created things?
- When did I feel joy? What has been the greatest blessing of the day? What am I thankful for? Have I worked with joy or drudgery? When did I feel alive today?
- Did the way I lived today reflect what I believe to be most important in life? What mistakes did I make today? What can I learn from these mistakes? Is there an unfinished task that is taking away my sense of fulfillment? (if so, bless it with the promise that you will attend to it tomorrow.)
- What is the one thing in my life that is standing on tiptoe crying, “may I have your attention please?” What do I know, but live as though I do not know?
- What can I do tomorrow to make amends for my mistakes? What must I do never to repeat these mistakes?