Friday, January 6, 2012

My to do list, Examen the next Day

Back in August, in the midst of silence at Wernersville, well, in the midst of the one conversation I had that particular day, my spiritual director gave me a book to read.

I may have said something like this... "even the thought of how it may be good to get ready for my 8 days of silence, did not bring me back to praying the Examen."

My spiritual director handed me a book by Jim Manney while telling me about how it had rejuvenated her passion for the Examen. So I read it. And what struck me was how I had always resisted/ignored/avoided the part of the prayer about examening the next day. So I placed it into practice, and now four and a half months since I left that hill top, almost every night I sit down and look at my expected day. I check off what I did, but also examen what did not happen. The goal for me is to list what I fully expect to do the next day: teach about momentum, plant marjoram seeds, consult with a colleague, listen to jazz, hope, continue on with the big mandala project, pierogies for dinner, e-mail this friend, lift weights, ..... As I examen my future, I ponder: which are bringing me the gladness of anticipation for the next day and which bring me reluctance to face the day...

and which have I been avoiding but keep placing on the list.

So I came home and ordered the book.  I loaned it to a friend, and now I can imagine taking it out to the Jesuit Center when I spend a night there in February, a fine time to get recharged with a second read



  1. Funny how so many of us have such ambivalence about such a simple practice.

  2. We gave copies of this book to everyone who came to the program we gave on the Examen.

  3. Hey Robin and Michelle, the book helped me break out of my ambivalence

  4. I have had this book for awhile and it lurks all around me. I came across it moments ago and then came across your post... *sigh* You duped me God and I let myself be duped, said Jeremiah and Fran agreed!

    Lurks seems a strong word, but it lurks in the way of God, pursuing us always. Like Robin noted, many of do have ambivalence about this practice. I appreciate that you said that the book helped you out of that. Perhaps it will do the same for me?

    (And it is also *funny* that I was lead to your post through a Google-y, link-y back door, but I of course know who you are via our mutual friends, Michelle and Robin.

    Thanks for this post.

  5. Hello Fran

    Jeremiah may be my favorite prophet, so you are in good company. What's funny to me is that this post has been seen more than any other post I have written because the author of the book posted about it after Robin and Michelle were here. So when I saw there was a comment I thought "finally one of them had something to say, but it took a friend of friends stumbling here to leave a comment. May we all get help from God with facing ambivalence.


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