This past weekend, Fr. Jack preached about the importance of getting to know Jesus and allowing Him to know us. He recommended the book, The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life by James Martin, S.J. Below is the Martin’s discussion of the Examen, a valuable, proven way to grow in your relationship with Jesus.
Before you begin, as in all prayer, remind yourself that you’re in God’s presence, and ask God to help you with your prayer.
- Gratitude: Recall anything from the day for which you are especially grateful, and give thanks.
- Review: Recall the events of the day, from start to finish, noticing where you felt God’s presence, and where you accepted or turned away from any invitations to grow in love.
- Sorrow: Recall any actions for which you are sorry.
- Forgiveness: Ask for God’s forgiveness. Decide whether you want to reconcile with anyone you have hurt.
- Grace: Ask God for the grace you need for the next day and an ability to see God’s presence more clearly.
Martin, James (2010-02-20). The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life
I echo Fr. Jack’s recommendation of the book and the examen. The book is an excellent primer in the spiritual life and roots us in the basics. The examen calls us to examine our relationship with God daily. I’ll close this log with another quote from the book that exposes the roots of prayer.
You sanctify whatever you are grateful for.
May you practice gratitude this week and every day of your life.
I often talk about our community as a “community of disciples.” We have each been called by Jesus to follow him in a loving, personal relationship. My hope is that by reflecting on the values of discipleship we will create a culture that fosters ever deepening discipleship.
I ran across the following description of what is normal for a disciple of Jesus. I posted it to my blog ( www.exploringhiskingdom.wordpress.com ) a few weeks ago and wanted to share it with you as we continue to grow as disciples of Jesus.
1. It is NORMAL for lay Catholics to have a living, growing love relationship with God.
2. It is NORMAL for lay Catholics to be excited Christian activists.
3. It is NORMAL for lay Catholics to be knowledgeable about their faith, the Scriptures, the doctrinal and moral teachings of the Church, and the history of the Church.
4. It is NORMAL for lay Catholics to know what their charisms of service are and to be using them effectively in the fulfillment of their vocation or call in life.
5. It is NORMAL for lay Catholics to know that they have a vocation/mission in life (primarily in the secular world) given to them by God. It is NORMAL for lay Catholics to be actively engaged in discerning and living this vocation.
6. It is NORMAL for lay Catholics to have the fellowship of other committed lay Catholics available to them, to encourage, nurture,and discern as they attempt to follow Jesus.
7. It is NORMAL for the local parish to function consciously as a house of formation for lay Catholics, which enables and empowers lay Catholics to do #1-6 above.
Sherry A. Weddell, Forming Intentional Disciples
How well does this describe your experience as a disciple?
Lincoln A. Wood
“I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished.”
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And you shall renew the face of the earth.
Prayer to the Holy Spirit
Fire burns. Fire consumes. Fire destroys. Fire spreads.
Jesus came to set the earth on fire. A passion burned in Jesus’ heart that cried out for justice. He knew the Father’s love and saw the capacity of each person. He also saw, more clearly than anyone else, what opposed that vision. The forces of evil and injustice, selfishness and greed were working to oppose the Father’s love. The Holy Spirit burning within Him compelled Jesus to oppose everything that promoted injustice. With the passion of a prophet Jesus words flashed out against all individuals and powers that prevented human flourishing. How he longed to unleash that fire!
But he knew it couldn’t be unleashed without sacrificial love for the fire was love itself. Jesus’ baptism on the cross unleashed that great fire of love on the earth. His great sacrifice kindled the fire of love in the world. It revealed the love and mercy of God and his passionate desire to heal all creation.
That same fire of love burns in each of us. The Holy Spirit of love burns within our hearts and calls us to the same sacrificial love of Jesus. Through prayer and sacrifice may we spread that fire of love through our lives this week.
Lincoln A. Wood