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Spiritual Reflection - June 2024


St Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, had a strict rule for his confreres when they were pushed for time to pray. It was “don’t forget the examen”. It was a 15 minute exercise set aside to review the day. The secret was not to limit oneself to what you had done wrong, or where you had failed, but to first look at how you have been blessed this day. This is a practice which, after a while simply makes you aware of how your life is being constantly gifted. It has been said that God is  not only a creator, but is constantly creating and recreating. That saying belongs to the Examen.

There is a dynamic in this practice because the more you know God’s love, the more sensitive you become to sin, or, more accurately, that part of you not yet at peace with yourself and God. But how can you know God’s love, if you are  not aware of his blessings?

So at some point in the day set aside about 15 minutes. Let yourself relax and breathe.

  • Close your eyes and let your mind travel back through the day. What has happened? How has it been a gift to you? Give thanks, no matter how small the gift may seem.

  • Then you allow yourself go to some situation that you didn’t handle well, or some issue you are not yet at peace with. Observe your internal thinking ... feelings. Acknowledge this.

  • Finally, what is the grace you really need?  It maybe the grace of seeing the blessings!

  • Ask and you shall receive!

  • Conclude with a Hail Mary recited slowly.

Discussion:  If applying this to Vincentian work, how would you see this form of prayer as relevant?


O Spirit of God
Teach me
To see
What I have not yet seen
The gifts concealed
In my everyday encounters
In my everyday crisis
And moments of laughter
And even the weather
When I am cold within
Let the negative leave me
Let me see your hand
All I need to see.