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The Examen

It’s been a couple of very long days . . .

. . . .and I am so very thankful that for the past few weeks, I’ve been practising something called the Examen. If you have haven’t heard of this, I would encourage you to take a moment and read about this prayer.

“I am God’s creature living in God’s world; of course God would be present in my everyday experience. The examen treats every moment of every day as a blessed time when God can appear. It’s a way to find God in all things.” Jim Manney, A Simple Life-Changing prayer.

This is where I’ve been this week.

When I experience such a beautiful moment as I watch my 37-week pregnant and radiantly beautiful daughter rubbing her belly while the two of are listening to music together, I am reminded that God is in all things.

When I feel great frustration about a recent incident, I am reminded that God is in all things.

When my daughter gifts me with the most wonderful facial, I am reminded that God is in all things.

When the neighbourhood groundhog devours our final tomatoes in the garden, I am reminded that God is in all things.

I am learning to notice. To take note. To stop and look around.

Fr. Dennis Hamm, SJ, a scripture professor at Creighton University, calls the Daily Examen, “rummaging for God.” He likens it to, “going through a drawer full of stuff, feeling around, looking for something that you are sure must be there.” That’s an accurate description of what it’s like to pray the Daily Examen. We look back on the previous day, rummaging through the “stuff,” and finding God in it. We know he is there. www.ignatianpirituality.com

When I learn some upsetting news about a loved one, I am reminded that God is in all things.

When I sit down at the end of the day, wrap myself in a blanket and drink a cup of chai, I am reminded that God is in all things.

When my husband and I spend seven hours in Emergency last night because he has broken out in a terribly painful rash all over his body, I am reminded that God is in all things.  (Diagnosis: hand, mouth and foot disease, an unexpected gift from his recent trip to the Philippines)

When I enjoy yet another great conversation with my son-in-law, I am reminded that God is in all things.

When I wake up in the early morning and realize I have another hour of sleep, I am reminded that God is in all things.

When I think about an unresolved conflict with a friend, I am reminded that God is in all things.

When I take in each evening’s delightful sunset and hear the waves lapping up against the rocks, I am reminded that God is in all things.

When my husband makes me laugh, I am reminded that God is in all things.

When I feel anxious, uncertain or fearful, I am reminded that God is in all things.

The examen is about the stuff we do every day.

When I take the time at the end of the day to reflect and “rummage around,” I feel a greater sense of groundingperspective and gratitude.

I am practicing these two things:

  1. To be fully present and alive in the moment.
  2. To be fully aware and thankful for how much God, my Lord has done and given me as I reflect on my days.

Practising these two mindful acts have resulted in a deep calmness, greater stillness within me and overflowing thankfulness for all that has been, is now and will be in the future.

Now, you’ll have to excuse me as I put on my gloves, re-sanitize the kitchen counters and make dinner for my spotted husband.

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 Comments

  1. Anne Loewen

    This is so true. Reminds me of a recent sermon entitled “Whatever Happens” – God is in all things, whatever happens. The good, the bad and the terrible/horrible things.

    • Diane (Author)

      Check out the Examen, Anne. I think you’ll really enjoy learning about it.

  2. What a terrific post, Diane. Indeed — in the good and even in the bad, we need to remember that God is indeed in all things.

    • Diane (Author)

      Amen and Amen, Cynthia.

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