Just be.

Just be.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

St. Ignatius' Examen and the "piece of paper with coffee stains."

                                                                               photo taken in Oklahoma 2010

Spiritual principles seem universal as we travel through this desert land.

St. Ignatius of Loyola the founder of the Jesuits (Society of Jesus) discovered a way to incorporate the teachings of Christ into daily living about 500 years ago and made a simple, but revolutionary addition to the Catholic faith and to anyone desiring a better way to live.

To make a long story short, this is what he taught for a daily plan of prayer and action.

1. Pray for light: Ask God for grace throughout the day.
2. Give thanks: Gratitude for all of God's gifts.
3. Review the day: What happened in your day.
4.What was wrong:  Ask God for forgiveness and how to do better.
5. Look for a better day tomorrow: Where do we need God's help?

A striking simularity to a simple set of ideas can be compared:

When terrified and new in my twelve step program a young man scribbled the following simple things to do everyday on a  torn piece of paper: I have done the same for others dozens  and dozens of times...

1. Pray in the morning (on your knees) for God to keep you sober.
2. Telephone 3 or 4 sober members besides your sponsor.
3. Go to a meeting.
4. Help someone.
5. Evening at night (on your knees) Thanking God for keeping you sober that day and to help you tomorrow.

Our basic text contains the perfect way to start each day.

 On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonesty or self -seeking motives.

A link to Ignatian Spirituality is below.