In The Spirit of St. ignatius . . .

I have been working through The New Spiritual Exercises:In The Spirit of Pierre Teihard de Chardin by Louis M. Savary for a while now. It is a really wonderful way to see the exercises in an entirely different light.

Since today is the Feast of St. ignatius, I want to share with you something from the book. But first a bit of context for those who aren’t familiar with Jesuit Spirituality. The Examen is the nightly prayer used in Jesuits spirituality reexamine the day. It has a very simple form and doesn’t take long to become a part of one’s daily routine.

In this book, de Chardin offers a new look at the examine;one that comes from thanksgiving from start to finish. He believed that your nightly review should focus on what went right instead of what went wrong. If you focus on giving and receiving love, your thinking will change for the better. ( Savary 49)

Here is de Chardin’s Thanksgiving Examen

1. To give thanks in general to God our Lord for the benefits received in your life, in others. And in the world today.
2. To ask for grace to recognize all those particular things that happen to you and others that you should personally be grateful for.
3. To take account of your day from the hour that you arose to the present time, hour by hour, or period by period: first your good thoughts, ideas, and intentions; then your good words spoken and heard; and then good acts, your actions and those of others, small or large, that positively touched your life or the life of Someone else. Record these i. Your journal.
4. To praise and thank god our Lord for all opportunities you had to make a difference in the world today and to inspire you to recognize more and more such opportunities in the future.
5. To thank God for all God has done for you, and to ask yourself; What can I envision doing that would lead me to be even more deeply grateful?
Close with the Our Father

Ignatius recommends that one pray the Examen twice a day, once before midday meal and again before sleep that night. The more often you pray it the more a natural part of your day it will become. Eventually you will find yourself becoming a more loving, giving person.

Happy Feast Day to all my Jesuit and Jesuit Adjacent friends!


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