This is a version of the five-step Daily Examen that St. Ignatius practiced.
1. Become aware of God’s presence.
2. Review the day with gratitude.
3. Pay attention to your emotions.
4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it.
5. Look toward tomorrow.
Oh my, The mood is not shifting. Despair is upon me and I weary. Maybe I can rally enough to try an Examen. Maybe not.
It looks like this is the evening one anyways and I am at the start of a day.
Maybe I am ill again – it seems to be the time that I cannot come good at all.
“The first point is to give thanks .”
Ignatius once said that the most abominable sin he could imagine was the sin of ingratitude. He knew that an awareness of God’s goodness and generosity is the foundation of our relationship with God. Once we recognize God’s goodness, we spontaneously feel gratitude.
In this first point, we express gratitude for the experiences and encounters during the day that have been good or pleasant or meaningful, whether they seem trivial or important. We also express gratitude for the larger gifts we have received: our faith and our salvation, our life, our talents and abilities, significant relationships, whatever comes to mind.
As our spiritual life deepens, we become more and more aware that all we have is gift, given to us far beyond anything we might expect or deserve.
We might sometimes find ourselves in a mood of resentment or depression where a feeling of gratitude is hard to muster. At that time, it is all the more important for us to express thanks to God. Not to pretend to feelings we don’t feel, but to acknowledge, at whatever level we can, the truth of God’s goodness to us.
OK then. Sitting here as miserable as can be, Lets get to the thanksgiving.
I can do 3 things before I go and lie on the lounge with my Steampunk Book from Stephen Hunt.
1. Grateful that I survived.
2. That Winter is over.
3. That I have $6000 in the bank.
And that I am sober and clean and not mad. Grateful that my brain returned with me and I don’t have to eat Meals on Wheels anymore.
Good Grief – I may be coming good after all. A slight smile is tugging at the edge of my lips. Sure – this year has sucked bigtime and sure- being isolated at home sux also. With little to look forwards to -BUT- here I am. Little Girls will visit later for Halloween. I see my Doc who is a sweetheart. I very well might get the beachshack. I have one fine mattress on my bed. I will get some money from the Super and might get all of it. There is a Unity Day on Sunday. I WILL swim in saltwater again.
“The second point is to ask for the grace to know my sins and to root them out.”
Ignatius gives his second point a moralistic tone. The particular grace we are seeking here can be expressed more broadly as the light to see our life the way that God sees it, without the illusions and deceptions that we commonly live by. If we are to ask for this grace wholeheartedly, it is important for us to know how desperately we are in need of it. Psychology has shown that many of our true feelings and motivations are genuinely hidden from us. The unconscious part of ourselves can have a powerful influence on what we feel and how we act. Even apart from this, there is a natural tendency to rationalize our actions and to believe the sort of front we put on for other people. Or we can deny or repress unpleasant or embarrassing things about ourselves. Or we can have attitudes of self-deprecation or contempt that distort our view of ourselves and others.
The possibilities for self-deception are endless. To truly know ourselves is not something that we are able to do alone. We need to ask the Holy Spirit for the light that can reveal us to ourselves.
I am a miserable person.