Every day, up to eight times a day, I silently perform a 1-3 minute spiritual ritual that is – quite literally – changing me. Now in my early 50s, I have decided it is the single most vital personal habit I have formed to date. According to my wife, I am becoming a different man.
photo courtesy of Anna Siran Wilt
Spiritually igniting, robust yet simple, the habit that is changing me is called the “Daily Examen.”
The Daily Examen is a daily prayer exercise that is integral to the Spiritual Exercises created by Ignatius of Loyola – the founder of the Jesuits (the current Pope Francis is a Jesuit).
The Daily Examen is just one example of Ignatian spirituality and, in particular, the Spiritual Exercises. The Examen is…
…A technique of prayerful reflection on the events of the day in order to detect God’s presence and discern his direction for us. The Examen is an ancient practice in the Church that can help us see God’s hand at work in our whole experience” (www.ignatianspirituality.com).
In Mark 11:1-11, Jesus is entering the Great Jerusalem, meaning “City of Shalom, City of completeness, wholeness, of God’s all-permeating Peace.” But as the Prince of Peace enters – the Prince of Shalom Himself – a holy mess is about to be made.
Jesus marks the beginning of His Passion week, as crowds before Him, crowds behind Him, and crowds all around Him voice a singular cry: “Hosanna!” – a cry of triumphant praise, that means “Save, now!” But no one is prepared for the kind of saving, the kind of rescue operation, the kind of deliverance mission about to be initiated by the One whose very name, Y’shua, means “The Lord saves.”
Ignatius of Loyola was a man who believed that we must first lead ourselves before we can lead others – and that leading ourselves as Christians calls for constant, focused attention.
A Child Of Privilege
Born into wealth, in a castle in Spain in 1491, Ignatius was a child of privilege. Though his family had wealth, however, he couldn’t buy his way out of the wars that were raging in his lifetime. Sent to fight with France in 1521, Ignatius was wounded in the leg by a cannon ball and sent to recuperate.
As many of my blog readers know, my wife is my Spiritual Director in one key area of my formation as a Christian and as a human being. It is through her role modeling, and daily coaching, that I am learning the raw power of expressing thankfulness in all circumstances. This brief guest post, written by her, should become a must-read for any human being wanting thanksgiving to become their new normal. Please share it with friends. I commend her unique voice to you.
How God’s Love Changes What We See
By Anita Wilt
Recently I replaced the frame of a piece of art that’s been hanging in our home since we were married.
The old frame was ‘tired’ and made the art seem likewise. The new frame was a great improvement.
Reframing that art got me thinking. What was inside the frame did not change, but with a different frame around it, the artwork took on a new look; the actual art was not altered, but its appearance was.
Thanks to the new frame, the art had taken on new life.