Lent Awareness Examen
How well do you pay attention? This Lenten season we will conclude our weekly activities with the prayerful practice of the Examen developed by Ignatius of Loyola. The practice has a simple structure that makes it accessible to all. The goal is to become more aware of God’s presence in our lives through a prayerful reflection on our lives.
Begin by finding a quiet space in your home or outside. Pay attention to your needs: Do you need complete silence? Do you need fresh air? Do you need a comfy blanket? Do you need paper and pastels? What do you need to quiet your soul? Spend a moment in the quiet of your soul space.
Identify moments in your week you are thankful for as your week comes to a close. Remember how you felt in those moments. Relive them in your mind and savor the opportunity to enjoy them again. Offer thanks and praise for these moments.
Open your heart to the full story of your week. Reflect on the happenings and doings. Give yourself grace as you relive the week and contemplate your living of it. Take your time. Stop if you need a break. Spend a little extra time in any significant moments.
Consider where you were aware of God’s presence. How was God’s moving and working around you? Were you resistant to God? Were you open to God’s movement in your life?
Consider God’s desires for your life? Is God calling you to any specific action? How is God transforming your life?
Imagine next week, as you invite God’s Spirit to restore and transform your life?
Close your practice with a prayer of thanks for the space and grace to grow.
On Saturday, we also encourage you to reflect on the scripture for worship tomorrow: Luke 4.14-30
Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news about him spread throughout the whole countryside. He taught in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.
Jesus went to Nazareth, where he had been raised. On the Sabbath he went to the synagogue as he normally did and stood up to read. The synagogue assistant gave him the scroll from the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me.He has sent me to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, to liberate the oppressed, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
He rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the synagogue assistant, and sat down. Every eye in the synagogue was fixed on him. He began to explain to them, “Today, this scripture has been fulfilled just as you heard it.”
Everyone was raving about Jesus, so impressed were they by the gracious words flowing from his lips. They said, “This is Joseph’s son, isn’t it?”
Then Jesus said to them, “Undoubtedly, you will quote this saying to me: ‘Doctor, heal yourself. Do here in your hometown what we’ve heard you did in Capernaum.’” He said, “I assure you that no prophet is welcome in the prophet’s hometown. And I can assure you that there were many widows in Israel during Elijah’s time, when it didn’t rain for three and a half years and there was a great food shortage in the land. Yet Elijah was sent to none of them but only to a widow in the city of Zarephath in the region of Sidon. There were also many persons with skin diseases in Israel during the time of the prophet Elisha, but none of them were cleansed. Instead, Naaman the Syrian was cleansed.”
When they heard this, everyone in the synagogue was filled with anger. They rose up and ran him out of town. They led him to the crest of the hill on which their town had been built so that they could throw him off the cliff. But he passed through the crowd and went on his way.