Posted on July 03, 2009 by Amy Tolmie
As we come to the end of term, here is an examen designed to help you reflect back on the school year, with all of its challenges and joys, risks and responsibilities. The examen is a simple spiritual exercise developed by St. Ignatius of Loyola in the Sixteenth Century. The simplest form of the examen consists of two questions: For what moment am I most grateful? For what moment am I least grateful?
These questions help us identify moments of consolation, that for which we are most grateful, and desolation, that for which we are least grateful. Ignatius expected that God would speak to us through these moments of deepest feelings and yearnings. We should aim to do more of what brings us consolation, and to listen to and respond to what brings us desolation. Done regularly over a period of time, the examen can guide our lives and help us to make wise choices.
The following questions are designed to help you become aware of how God has been moving and speaking to you over the past school year (or you might like choose to answer the questions about a different time period). You might find yourself recalling things that you noticed at the time, or you may be opening our heart to the ways in which God was moving but that you were unaware of in the moment. It might work best to print out the questions and take them and find a quiet space.
Allow four to five minutes for each question and then move on. If you find God calling you to focus your attention on one particular question, then stay with that question for as long as God desires.
AskÂ GodÂ toÂ fillÂ youÂ withÂ HisÂ loveÂ andÂ giveÂ thanksÂ forÂ whatÂ youÂ justÂ experienced.Â
SearchÂ me,Â OÂ God,Â andÂ knowÂ myÂ heart;Â testÂ meÂ andÂ knowÂ myÂ anxiousÂ thoughts. SeeÂ ifÂ thereÂ isÂ anyÂ offensiveÂ wayÂ inÂ me,Â andÂ leadÂ meÂ inÂ theÂ wayÂ everlasting.Â PsalmÂ 139:23â€24Â