Lent: Repentance and Examen

Test-me-O-Lord-and-tryLent is a time of self-examination and self-denial to prepare for Easter.

It’s natural to want to minimize these difficult days leading up to Resurrection Sunday, but then we would miss the whole purpose of Lent. We need to pause and sit with all the things that happened during Jesus’ last 40 days on earth. And we need to pause and sit with ourselves too. We need to see what should be adopted, eradicated, improved upon, and otherwise changed to make us ready for Easter.

Prayer of Examen

For the remainder of this week of Lent, we will focus on repentance and an ancient practice introduced by St. Ignatius called Examen. Examen is exactly what it sounds like. It is an in-depth prayer that helps us to examine ourselves. In the process we may be able to better discern God’s will, find God in all things, and enhance our understanding of God’s creation. This discipline should be done at the end of the day so that you can analyze how your day went. Don’t let the words discipline and analyze scare you. The process can be completed in as little as 10 minutes if you don’t have much time. Try to do it at least two evenings this week, more often if you are able.

Here is a link that will take you to the short Prayer of Examen tutorial. It’s a simple, yet effective process. If you want to, you can journal your answers to the questions, or you can complete them without pen and paper. Feel free to share any of your thoughts in the comment section below.

Pray on!