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Tag Archives: examen

The Most Important Question of Every Day

Discerning God’s will in making decisions is the most important thing we do each day — both personally and in our leadership of others. Assuming that you are committed to the overall direction of Scripture and are willing to do whatever God asks, the Examen developed by Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) is the best means I know to discern God’s will. God speaks to us is through our deepest feelings and yearnings in what Ignatius called “consolations” and “desolations.” Consolations are those experiences that fill us with joy, life, energy and peace. Desolations are those that drain us and feel like death. Consolations connect us with ourselves, others and God. Desolations disconnect us.  The process below is one simple way of discovering the interior movements of God through which He is speaking and leading. Scripture: Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God.1 John 4:1 Silence: 1. Read more.

The Most Important Question of Every Day

Discerning God’s will in making decisions is the most important thing we do each day — both personally and in our leadership of others. Assuming that you are committed to the overall direction of Scripture and are willing to do whatever God asks, the Examen developed by Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) is the best means I know to discern God’s will. God speaks to us is through our deepest feelings and yearnings in what Ignatius called “consolations” and “desolations.” Consolations are those experiences that fill us with joy, life, energy and peace. Desolations are those that drain us and feel like death. Consolations connect us with ourselves, others and God. Desolations disconnect us.  The process below is one simple way of discovering the interior movements of God through which He is speaking and leading. Scripture: Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God. 1 John. Read more.

Emotionally Healthy Goal Setting

Four critical factors form the foundation of personal and organizational goal setting. When ignored, we will find ourselves, eventually, anxious and rushing, with too much to do in too little time. These include: 1. God’s First Goal for You. My first goal is to be a contemplative who dwells in God’s presence (See Ps. 27:4 for David’s modeling of this). Establishing these daily, weekly, annual rhythms to be with God comes first. 2. The Interior Movements of the Heart. I listen for the consolations and desolations of the Holy Spirit inside me. Does this initiative give me life or death as I imagine myself going this direction? 3. The Gift of Limits. Rebellion against God is tightly tied to making good plans for God that are not His. (See The Emotionally Healthy Church, chapter 8). For example, since I am called to lead out of a great marriage, every initiative is filtered through its impact on my. Read more.

Self-Identity as the Key to Discernment

Augustine once said that God is always trying to give good things to us but our hands are too full to receive them. Roslyn H. Wright, a Director of Field Education at Whitley College in Australia, visited me in NYC recently. The following are reflections out of her work with seminary students around “Incarnational goal setting”: 1. God’s calls us to courageously lead out of our ‘true self.’ “The problem of sanctity and salvation is in fact the problem of finding out who I am and of discovering my true self” (Thomas Merton). God gives to each of us a “manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” with a unique working out of that gift in the Body and the world. The forces, internal and external, that move us away from that place of leading from within are enormous. 2. Prayer, particularly the Examen, along with a trusted community, is the foundation for. Read more.

Rediscovering the Prayer of Examen

About a month ago, a friend sent Geri and I a wonderful little book, Sleeping with Bread, by Dennis, Matt and Sheila Linn. I had read the book a number of years ago but God has used it to reignite the examen as an integral part of our daily lives once again. It has been wonderful. Yesterday, I ended my sermon on “Disorientation and the Plan of God” out of Isaiah 43 by leading our church through an examen. The handout is below. Check it out. The Prayer of Examen Nov. 1st, 2009. An adaptation by Pete Scazzero from “Sleeping with Bread: Holding What Gives You Life”, by Dennis Linn, Sheila Fabricant Linn and Matthew Linn  Introduction:  One of the ways God speaks to us is through our deepest feelings and yearnings, what Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) called “consolation” and “desolation.” Consolations are those experiences that fill us with joy, life, energy and peace. Desolations. Read more.