The Examen

Sunday March 21 + The Fifth Sunday in Lent

We have reached the final week of this year’s Lenten Devotion. We hope you have deepened your appreciation of our community’s rich and diverse spiritual life. This week we are practicing the Examen, a daily reflection created by Ignatius of Loyola in the 16th century.

This Week’s Devotion From Lenten Years Past

In this morning’s lectionary reading, John 12: 20-33, John’s gospel tells us of some Greeks who wished to see Jesus. In St. Paul-Reformation’s 1995 Lenten Devotional Book, faithful SPR member Barb Merchant shared her reflections on this passage:

As we travel along our Lenten journey, I find this verse most applicable to my life: Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it will remain a single grain.

We can interpret this in the following way: we can call ourselves Christian persons, live most satisfying lives, living with the knowledge of the love of God for ourselves alone. As we pass, so will our knowledge and the peace and happiness we have found in our life.

However, if we plant that seed along the way to someone in our life, it might allow that person to come to know more of the love of God. It is in this way a single grain can bear much fruit.

A favorite hymn of mine which might be able to apply to this passage in a small way is “I Love to Tell the Story” — passing the story along.

Let us pray. Let each of us this Lenten season try in some small way, be it at home, at work, or in our everyday life, to plant a seed of love and friendship to another person in our life. Amen.

Barbara Merchant

“Tree of life” by Mara ~earth light~ is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

  1. 2nd question: I think that Examen enriches the possibilities for daily prayer. The mindfulness that is required keeps one open…

  2. Those questions are a challenge. I don’t have an answer to either, but they are worth some serious thought. Thanks,…

  3. I think the Examen requires a substantial amount of determination–to keep reminding yourself to see significance in the ordinary. One…

  4. Thanks, Ryan. The Examen is a rather involved spiritual practice. Our emotions are involved in almost any decision we make,…