BREATH PRAYER: FATHER, transform my heart in this ordinary time.
For the Lord your God is living among you.
He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
With his love, he will calm all your fears.
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.
- In a journal, note the day, time, and place you’re sitting.
- Open with silence. Set a timer for 1, 3, or 5 minutes so you can be free to rest and breathe deeply.
- Complete the following sentence in your journal: Today, I feel ________________.
- Read the centering verse above slowly (aloud or silently).
- Pause for a few moments of silence, then pray this week’s breath prayer.
If we attune ourselves to look and listen, we may find God present within us, all around us, and speaking to us constantly. But if we don’t bother to look, it will seem that there is nothing to be seen.
—Chris Lowney, Heroic Living
Our emotions are powerful indicators of the state of our hearts. We may have been told not to trust our emotions, and while that may sometimes be true in decision-making, when they flare up like beacons, we are wise to take notice.
Begin this time of Examen by allowing your mind and body to grow quiet. Give yourself time to slow the racing of your thoughts and the fidgeting of your body. Sit with Jesus, imagining the two of you are together in a place that brings you deep peace. Welcome the Holy Spirit’s guidance of your thoughts, and entrust them to Him.
Thinking back through the past day, reflect on the concrete elements: where you went, the people you interacted with, tasks you were engaged in. Think of them as a play-by-play recap of your day.
Now review your day again, but this time from a more emotional perspective. Which moments brought you joy, peace, or contentment? When were you frustrated? Did unexpected tears fill your eyes? Did you speak harshly to someone who didn’t deserve it? Were there moments when you wished time would stand still so you could soak it up?
Ask the Lord to highlight one emotional response He would like to speak into. When one comes to mind, write a few words about it in your journal. Ask God to show you what deeper feelings might be at work in this scenario. Why was that emotion so strong? Thank God for what He reveals to you.
As you look to the day ahead, invite our good Father to walk with you. Ask Him to keep you alert to His activity in you, through you, and around you.
Summary: Write in your journal a brief summary (five sentences or less) of your Examen. How might this experience help you recognize God’s voice in the future?
Closing: Father, transform my heart in this ordinary time.
If you are unsure how to begin listening for God’s voice and leading in your life, listen to this message by Larry Green, given at the Parish. Feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or help with these practices.