Examen for the Fifth Week of Lent

The Word

“Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.”

—John 12:26

Reflect

Even when we are trying to shake off a bad habit, the Examen should leave us content and even joyful. It will, if we remember that the good that we set ourselves to, we do for love—of Jesus Christ, of those He gives us, and of ourselves. This is “where” Jesus of Nazareth was, every day. This is where we find the honor given by the Father. We are called; we are Jesus’ servants for love.

1. Give Thanks. I thank God for this day, for my life, for all I am and have, and for His Word.

2. Pray for Light. I ask the Father to let me see my day as the Holy Spirit sees it, and to show me what I need to see.

3. Find God. I look at my day in the light of the Spirit.

I look at what I have done and not done.
Am I putting up with a bad habit?
Have I found God in the quiet?

4. Anything Wrong?

Have I ignored God? Have I neglected God’s gifts?
Where have I pleased myself instead of pleasing God?
Where I have fallen short, I repent and offer thanks.

5. What Now?

I look forward in hope.
What am I to do now? What do I have to avoid?

Prayer

To be in love in my life world, Lord of Love,
means many warm and charming things
like close hugging and intimate talk.
It lasts as long as a day lily in sun.
To be in love in your reign, my Lord of Love,
means joy in winter as rich as in spring.
It cherishes the precious dignity of friends
and looks for a good spirit in strangers.
Let me love as You love, my Lord,
and make my every action radiate
compassion and contentment.
And may every word I say
echo the words that You have said.
Amen.

Examen for the Fourth Week in Lent

The Word

He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax-collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax-collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.’ But the tax-collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.”

—Luke 18:9-14

Reflect

The Examen asks us to pinpoint our failings and turn to God. What God wants of us is not sacrifice and oblation, a big religious deal. God doesn’t want a heart satisfied with itself like the Pharisee’s, closed and tight; but one that cries out because of what it does wrong, open to God, like the tax collector’s. Looking holy rarely helps anyone know God. The presence of an honestly repentant sinner helps everyone know who God really is.

1. Give Thanks. I thank God for this day, for my life, for all I am and have, and for His Word.

2. Pray for Light. I ask the Father to let me see my day as the Holy Spirit sees it, and to show me what I need to see.

3. Find God. I look at my day in the light of the Spirit.

I look at what I have done and not done.
Am I putting up with a bad habit?
Have I found God in the quiet?

4. Anything Wrong?

Have I ignored God? Have I neglected God’s gifts?
Where have I pleased others instead of pleasing God?
Where I have fallen short, I repent and offer thanks.

5. What Now?

I look forward in hope.
What am I to do now? What do I have to avoid?

Prayer

How You can love me, loving Father—
You who are the storehouse of all good—
how You can love me, a stack of flaws and failings,
I struggle to know.
Yet in all my days, You have run to hug me
every time I turn away from my selfishness.
Patient Father, I beg that my sin
be like dirt on my skin
to wash away with clean repentance.
Never let sin poison the marrow of my heart,
which I hold out to You in the bright hope
that You have loved it from the start and all along.
Amen.

Source: Joseph Tetlow, SJ, “From Ashes to Glory”, Ignatianspirituality.com