Theme: importance of the Examen prayer for ALL people.
We sometimes take this midday moment of prayerful rest for granted. It’s easy to be tempted to nod off into slumber, or to sneakily rush in a few extra minutes of homework during these five minutes in daily communal prayer. Plus, consider that we’re all more or less “good guys” seeking the Lord’s will – we pray before every class, we do lots of service, get good grades, are the best at our jobs. It’d be ok to mindlessly zip through prayer every once in awhile, right?
Our Lord, speaking through today’s Mass reading from the prophet Isaiah, might beg to differ.
“They seek me day after day,
and desire to know my ways,
Like a nation that has done what is just
and not abandoned the law of their God”
Sounds like we’re on the right track, doesn’t it? But wait, there’s more:
“Lo, on your fast day you carry out your own pursuits,
and drive all your laborers.
Yes, your fast ends in quarreling and fighting,
striking with wicked claw.”
Take a moment to let this contrast sink in. How has your own pursuit of God’s will ended up with “quarreling and fighting” today?
Most if not all of us here at St. Ignatius truly are good intentioned. But good intentions are not enough! As God says through the Prophet, though indeed we seek Him in most of what we undertake, due to our human weakness the result is not always the same as the intention. In fact, frequently enough it’s just the opposite. Take a look at your classroom’s Crucifix for a good example.
Thus the importance of the Examen. In this daily prayer, we allow ourselves to take a step back and see God’s working in our lives each day, and importantly, how we have and have NOT responded to that divine activity, whether we thought we were responding positively or not.
Pray: name one area of your well-intentioned Christian life where your good intentions often fall short of realization. Ask Jesus, through the power of His cross, to lift you up in this area & do His will.
Remember that He tells us:
“Would that today you might fast
so as to make your voice heard on high!
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
and your wound shall quickly be healed.”
Let us take to examining the Lord’s working in our lives, and our responses to His promptings, more carefully and consistently in this Lenten season.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end, amen.
St. Ignatius, pray for us. +