Pop-Up Catechesis: Praying the Daily Examen

I’m fond of saying that God is most often recognized in the rearview mirror. In other words, we seem to be more capable of recognizing God in past events than in the present. St. Ignatius of Loyola thought along those same lines, which is why he promoted a simple prayer called the Daily Examen. In this episode of Pop-Up Catechesis, we look at the practice of praying the Examen in order to recognize God’s presence in […]

Teaching the Daily Examen to 4- to 6-Year-Olds

One of the hallmarks of Ignatian prayer and spirituality is, of course, the Daily Examen—a prayerful way to review your day to recognize God’s presence and movement in your everyday life. We tend to think of this prayer as an adult exercise; however, many catechists and school teachers have found that this prayer is easily adaptable to children and can serve as a great tool for introducing young people to the contemplative aspect of our […]

Bringing an Ignatian Flavor to V Encuentro

It is no secret that the largest growing demographic in the U.S. Church is our Latino/Hispanic brothers and sisters. In order to better serve the needs of this vital and fast-growing segment of our Church family, the U.S. Bishops occasionally convene a process known as Encuentro—a multi-year process of ecclesial reflection and action that invites all Catholics in the United States to intense missionary activity, consultation, leadership development, and identification of best ministerial practices in […]

Praying the Daily Examen

Becky Eldredge, author of Busy Lives & Restless Souls, loves praying the Examen, a method of prayer that involves reflection on the past 24 hours of your life. She explains the steps of this defining Ignatian prayer in the below video. Pray this way with young people using Finding God Grades 7 and 8. The Examen is also a great prayer for families, as Eric Gurash explains in his article Where Have You Been, Lord? […]

Reviewing Your Catechetical Year, Examen-Style

The ending of the catechetical year is the perfect time to reflect on the highs and lows, rejoicing in the graced moments in our programs and seeking to improve the more challenging areas. The Examen prayer, as outlined by St. Ignatius Loyola, provides us with a perfect guide to making just this kind of review. As you get set to begin this time of prayerful review, be sure to set aside at least 15–20 minutes, […]

A Week with Jesus: Making the Examen More Intentional

The Daily Examen or Awareness Examen is a reflective, prayerful spiritual practice that comes to us from the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Its simple premise—that we can with practice become more consciously aware of God’s activity in our lives—makes it a great prayer for young and old. If you’re looking for a fun, interactive way to introduce young people to this wonderful spiritual practice, consider taking up the following challenge for a […]

The Examen in Catechetical Programs

Several years ago, I became acquainted with Ignatian spirituality, and over time, incorporated many of the key components of this spirituality into my daily living. Although I’m certainly not an expert, I have learned enough so as to feel comfortable weaving such topics as the Examen into our programs. There are five key components to the Examen, a daily review of how the day went. Become aware of God’s presence. Even first graders are leading […]

How Are Your Lessons Calling People to Repent?

This Sunday’s Gospel (Mark 1:14–20) invites us to hear the first words out of Jesus’ mouth as he begins his public ministry: “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” One of the reasons that we find this passage difficult to take to heart is because of a lack of understanding of what it means to repent. Here’s how I understand it. Among the many […]

Where Have You Been, Lord? Praying the Examen with Your Families

I always found our opening prayers for Confirmation and First Eucharist meetings to be challenging. Normally these involved something written down, something we would all read together, or maybe a pertinent piece of Scripture, or maybe both. It often felt dry and mechanical. What I wanted to do was engage our families, invite them to get to know the Jesus I knew—a Jesus who was active, interesting, and intensely interested in their lives. The question […]

Year of Faith Retreat – Week 4, Day 2: The Three “Venues” of Prayer (Forms of Prayer, Part I)

WEEK FOUR: Prayer DAY 2: The Three “Venues” of Prayer (Forms of Prayer, Part I) Take a moment to think of all of the ways we can communicate with someone nowadays:     In person (orally) Handwritten note E-mail Text message Skype Tweet Voice mail Telegram FAX Instant message In today’s world we have many different ways by which we can send and receive messages. In our prayer lives, as well, we have many different ways in […]

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