Examen on the Move

Posted on: August 11, 2017 10:00 am
Tags: Blog, Prayer,

by Sr. Ruth Lubbers 

St. Ignatius has gifted us with a prayer form called Consciousness Examen, or Examen for short. This prayer helps us to look at where God is in our life and where God might be leading us, how God is traveling with us.

These days in the Northern Kentucky area, travel has gotten a bit more congested due to road construction on a major bridge. Sometimes the traffic reports on the radio are helpful; however, for the most part one can figure out what is going on – two lane closures on the bridge!

Sometimes in our daily routine we need to look at our traveling patterns to see where God is directing us. These five simple steps from St. Ignatius can be helpful.


1 - Be aware of God’s presence

It is important to find some quiet time; that may be while traveling in the car. It can be our peaceful haven, our place to unwind. So take a few deep breaths and know that God is with you and within you. I find it helpful to recognize the beauty along the way. As I travel to work, I am taken up with the landscaping in people’s yards – the variety of colors of flowers, the shades of green in bushes, trees, and small plants, the slope of the land. Other times it may be the rolling hills that remind me of God’s creative presence.



2 - Review the day with gratitude

Just as the rearview mirror is an important fixture for safe travel, so too is ‘looking back’ over the day. I say a prayer of gratitude when someone lets me into the flow of traffic. I pass a driver who looks stressed out and ask God to be with him. I reflect on my encounters with others and recognize the blessings they have shared with me by their presence and goodness. I say a prayer of gratitude for the workers who are repairing the bridge.



3 - Pay attention to your emotions

In the traffic of the highways as well as the ‘traffic’ of my day-to-day living, I have felt myself being irritated or frustrated by delays when I am under a time crunch. I have also felt gratitude for the kindness others show to those around them. Sometimes when I think back over a situation, I am not pleased with how I responded. Other times I recognize the Spirit’s presence and am filled with wonder and a sense of peace.



4 - Choose one feature of the day and pray from it

There are many bridges and overpasses in my commutes.  As I open myself to God’s presence, I allow God to direct where my prayer will go. I ask myself what moment today was a bridge for me to see God’s action in my life? I want to consider how I responded to it, or not. What were the blessings of that ‘bridge’ or connection?



5 - Look toward tomorrow

Many times my attitude or behaviors are the reason for the slow movement, detours, or complete standstills in my journey. What alternate route do I want to take tomorrow so that I can be and live the love of Jesus more fully? Holy Spirit, my navigator, please be with me.

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