"How we spend our days is of course how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour and that one is what we are doing.” ~ Annie Dillard Choices made in a day matter. It might be that the everyday practice of discernment better prepares us for major life decisions. Because, hopefully, by the time those big choices come, the daily practice of discernment has awakened us to who we are; who God is; and how we might live in active participation of bringing God’s dreams into this world through the ways in which we have been gifted by God. Ignatius of Loyola was keen that discernment be a daily concern for Christ-followers and taught the Examen as a twice-daily prayer practice in the Spiritual Exercises. The practice of the Examen is a mindful review of one’s movements (emotions, actions, attitudes) either towards or away from God over a day. The Examen, in its most basic form involves 5 steps – here I’m using the 5 R’s of Mark Thibodeaux, SJ and an addition by Dale Gish to rejoice as well as repent in step 4. Relish: Soak in God’s loving gaze and express gratitude for the good gifts of today. Request: Ask the Holy Spirit to help you see your day with clarity. Review: Look back over your day. What spiritual movements occurred – towards God and the things of God or away from God towards the realm of the enemy? Where were you triggered, either to joy and freedom or to fear, anger or reactiveness? Repent and Rejoice: Where needed ask for forgiveness and healing; rejoice and give thanks for the good movements. Resolve: How do you want to be for the remaining hours of the day; what do you want to do differently? Do you practice a form of the examen? How has it shaped you? Guest post: Niecy LoCricchio, spiritual director, retreat guide at thesoulcareplace.com; if you are interested in leaning into the practice of discernment, consider joining this Fall’s cohort in a 9-month companioned journey to immerse yourself in God’s love with the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises.

Posted by Anam Cara Abbey at 2023-07-12 13:30:05 UTC