Dear OSJ Family,
Blessed 2016! As we begin a new year again, let’s take time to do as our holy Jesuit founder St. Ignatius Loyola exhorts us, and earnestly reflect on the past year so that looking back we can look forward with hope and great expectation. Let us examine, in God’s light, our spiritual life. In St Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises, he writes, “The goal of the spiritual life is to choose what better leads to God’s deepening life in me.” Given this we must sincerely ask in prayer and reflection: How have I sought to deepen God’s spirit within me? How much time did I spend in praying alone and with the Church community? How dedicated have I been to my prayer life? How have I served as an instrument of God’s peace and love to others? What are the ways that I have grown in my relationship with God? These are just a few questions to help us reflect and advance in our spiritual life.
Ignatian /Jesuit spirituality is one way to help us to discern Gods grace at work in our hearts. It teaches us to recognize God at work in the present moment amidst our pains, struggles, joys and desires. To aid your reflection I offer you the Ignatian Examen- a prayer exercise of five points, for daily reflection. This has been prepared by Jesuit Fr. David Fleming, S.J:
The Examen of Consciousness
- God, thank you.
I thank you, God, for always being with me, but especially I am grateful that you are with me right now.
- God, send your Holy Spirit upon me. God, let the Holy Spirit enlighten my mind and warm my heart that I may know where and how we have been together this day.
- God, let me look at my day.
God, where have I felt your presence, seen your face, heard your word this day?
God, where have I ignored you, run from you, perhaps even rejected you this day?
- God, let me be grateful and ask forgiveness.
God, I thank you for the times this day we have been together and worked together.
God, I am sorry for the ways that I have offended you by what I have done or what I did not do.
- God, stay close.
God, I ask that you draw me ever closer to you this day and tomorrow.
God, you are the God of my life—thank you.
I hope that one New Year’s Resolution for us all be that we may make every effort to pray more, to reflect more and to love and serve more!
God’s peace and blessings on you and yours in the New Year!
With my esteem and prayers,
© 2016 Fr. Philip A. Florio, S.J.