On Sunday the 9th I preached about gratitude. That gratitude is perhaps a measure of spirituality (thinking of the one healed leper who came back to thank Jesus in Luke 17:11-19), that every day there is something to be grateful for, and that gratitude shows that we are paying attention to the gifts we already possess in our lives.
The idea came to me as I let the sermon theme percolate that I should explain the Daily Examen and how important gratitude is as part of that spiritual practice. What’s funny is that I am a manuscript preacher, but decided in the moment to go “off script” and have our congregation attempt a short version of this spiritual practice with me leading you through it. I realized up in the pulpit that nobody would “get” the Daily Examen by just hearing about it in a more academic way. One has to try it out to see how helpful it can be!
Anyway, there are different explanations of the five steps of the Daily Examen. I shared an adapted version of the steps that I first read from Fr. James Martin, SJ. I wanted to share them here as a Thursday Thought for those who may have missed it all and have no idea what I’m talking about (no judgment)!
The Daily Examen
1. Presence: Begin by remembering that you are already in God’s presence, and ask God to be present with you as you pray.
2. Gratitude: Think of two or three things that have happened over the course of this day that you’re thankful for. Spend time contemplating these moments and let them lift up your spirit. Thank God for these gifts in your life.
3. Review: Consider your day from start to finish, from the moment you woke up to the present moment. Notice where you might have experienced God’s presence. Think of everything—the small stuff and the big stuff that transpired on this day of your life. Did you have a nice walk today and feel the sunshine or see the autumn leaves falling gently to the earth? Did you have an uplifting chat with a friend? When did you give love and when did you receive love today?
4. Sorrow: Maybe today you did something you regret, maybe you separated from God, from others, and from who God created you to be. Take the time to express the sorrow you feel to God and ask for forgiveness. Perhaps you hurt someone close to you and tomorrow you could ask for their forgiveness as well.
5. Grace: Remember that you are loved by God. Ask for the grace of God to sustain you and be with you today, tomorrow, and the next day . . .
I hope that you are having a wonderful week. See you on Sunday in person or online.
Photo by Rev. Lauren L. Ostrout.
Thursday Thoughts 10/13/22