I’d vaguely heard of it before, but it came up clearly in conversation with a friend who said, Hey, I know how you like the practice of spiritual disciplines and there’s this one called “examen” you might enjoy. So I googled it immediately and today I practiced my very first examen and wrote it into my prayer blog that is now at its 100th post. (Not that I’ve been counting but wordpress does it for me and told me today I was at 100.)
Wow, so amazing this hindsight and seeing God is drawing me in new ways into him and how I can now say I have been given a gift of a spiritual habit that is meaningful and something I want to do and enjoy doing.
Examen is a way of finding God through intentional examination of a day, or, in the words of another writer, rummaging for God by praying backwards though your day. I love that idea. And so I ventured into this still space today, in the quiet of my office after all had gone to work and school, and began to dig around in the good, bad, bright and ugly of the past 24 hours of my life. I looked for God and found God and asked God to be past, present and future in all the bits that make up my days.
Examen includes 5 steps, a template of which is found here: http://www.rcdom.org.uk/documents/EXAMEN.pdf.
Step 2 is looking at your life with gratitude, which I have decided to also note here in a continuation of the ongoing list of gifts the father lavishes daily upon me;
534. the discovery of the practice of Examen, ancient, new, drawing, opening, compelling…
535. My young friend and our conversation about similar things we long for and long to do
536. The sudden appearance of the ladybug on my binder as I prepared for tomorrow night
537. The kindness in words from other poets and friends who will pray and support by their presence
538. My family all arriving home safe from work, together for dinner, the slow evening of being in each others company
538. TV… the final episode sitting with him
539. Him picking her up from soccer
540. Hugs, kisses, words
541. The late evening sun over the garden and the warmth of it, the weeding, the watering, the joy of those dirty hands in the dirty dirt
542. Friends finding me
543. Quiet to prepare
544. A knowing that you are in all and inspiring all choices, empowering the words, quickening me to do what needs to be done in due course, encouraging my heart, giving me the strength I need as I rely upon you
545. experiencing this as truth in my ordinary and everyday life…