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Spiritual Practices

Featured Podcast

Listen as Father Peter Filice, S.J., guides you in the Examen of Consciousness, a method for growing your spirituality.

Examen

Ignatius developed this method of examining our lives in prayer, which takes about 15 minutes to complete. It springs from the belief that God is at work all the time and everywhere. Jesuits practice it daily, and many laypersons find it an ideal way to incorporate contemplation into each day.

Recall that you are in the presence of God

Focus on the Spirit ever at work in you, and consciously embrace a state of reverence.

Offer thanks for God’s many gifts

The Holy is present in our successes and failures, the light and the darkness. Open your heart to all the moments that reveal God to you.

Ask, how has God been at work in my life?

The more we get into the habit of asking ourselves this question, it influences our whole day and how we go about it. Then ask, how have I responded to God’s presence in my life? If we are attentive to the ways we’re being invited and the quality of our response, the grace or opportunity will be revealed to us.

Ask for forgiveness

A group people having mass on the beach while holding hands You may feel shame or sorrow for your lapses. Anthony de Mello, S.J., suggests another way to sit with the moments you regret:
“Be grateful
for your sins.
They are carriers
Of grace.”

Ask, how am I being called to respond now?

We’re invited to look at the next 24 hours and begin to reinforce the goodness that is beginning to emerge in our lives.

Prayers of St. Ignatius 

The following three prayers were central to St. Ignatius' spiritual life.

Anima Christi (Soul of Christ)

Soul of Christ, make me holy
Body of Christ, redeem me
Blood of Christ, inebriate me
Water from Christ’s side, cleanse me
Passion of Christ, make me strong
O Good Jesus, hear me
Hide me in your wounds
Never let me depart from you
Defend me from the evil enemy
Call me at the hour of my death
Bid me come to you
That with your saints I may praise you
Forever and ever.

Prayer for generosity

Lord, teach me to be generous.
Teach me to serve you as you deserve;
to give and not count the cost;
to fight and not heed the wounds;
to toil and not seek for rest;
to labor and not ask for reward, except to know
that I am doing your will.

Suscipe (Offering of Oneself)

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, understanding, my entire will,
all that I have and call my own.
You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.
Do with it as you will.
Give me only your love and your grace:
That is enough for me.

What we’re reading about the spiritual journey:

Prayer for Finding God in All Things: The Daily Examen of St. Ignatius of Loyola, Joan L. Roccasalvo, C.S.J.

Ignatius Loyola: Spiritual Exercises, Joseph A. Tetlow, S.J.

Passage through Mid-life: A Spiritual Journey to Wholeness, Paul Robb, S.J. 

The Presence of Absence: On Prayers and an Epiphany, Doris Grumbach 

The Healing Labyrinth: Finding Your Path to Inner Peace, Helen Raphael Sands

Virgin Time: In Search of the Contemplative Life, Patricia Hampl

"The Examen is a way to tap into how God is at work in my life, and to reflest on how I have responded to God's presence in my life"
Mike Gilson, S.J.