Iñigo, Ignatius, and the Examen
A young aristocrat and soldier who was all about the ladies, Iñigo's trajectory was shattered when a cannonball destroyed his leg. In his times of despair and pain, he turned to daydreaming about his past pursuits (women, glory, battle) or about what the only available reading during his recuperation in his castle in Loyola (Who was Christ? Why did He matter? What did He require of a person? What did intimacy with Him look like?).
Iñigo found that in his daydreaming, he quickly lost interest and became dissatisfied when he considered his partying past, but he became lively and hopeful when he thought of Christ. Iñigo decided to follow Jesus.
Hardships came. Iñigo remained faithful through all opposition, even from the church. He decided to get credentialed by the standards of his day. During this time, he and a small band of friends formed the first Jesuit society.
Iñigo took the name Ignatius when he finished his formal education. There is so much written about his life ... enjoy a good book or search about this man of God. Search "Ignatius of Loyola."
Ignatius created the Examen and required all people in his order to participate in it daily. It is a simple and profound exercise. Follow these steps and practice with me:
Day Sketch: What did you do today? Sketch it out briefly. Your memory will be imperfect; don't fret about it. Add things as they come to mind. Use your calendar to help you if you need it. Pay attention to your interactions, however important or casual; to your feelings; to your schedule.
Clarity and Review: Pray for clarity, then with the Holy Spirit, review your day from His point of view; ask one or two of the questions. Listen attentively. What is He saying to you? Look below the surface of what is happening.
Thankfuls (“consolations”): For what are you thankful? When did you experience God’s grace and goodness?
Confession: confession is like a two-sided coin: what we confess about ourselves one side, what we confess about God on the other.
Confess any failures, realizations about yourself and God, new understandings. Where did you fail or fracture (“desolations”)? What drained you of your energy or joy? When did you miss the Lord, forget Him, ignore Him? On the positive side, what can you confess about your heavenly Father, His character, His love for you?
Longings, Lessons, Looking Forward, Resolutions: What do you hope for, what do you long for? What are you looking forward to? Are there key lessons you learned today that drew you closer to the Trinity? Do you need to resolve anything for tomorrow? Record them and be at peace.