An examen on using our gifts

Published on 27 Jun 2018
A person painting watercolours

This examen by James Rodgers SJ is from the resource created at Riverview, a Jesuit school in Australia, by Ross Jones SJ, which can be found on the Jesuit Institute website.

1 Relax. Feel open. Open your heart. Put things out of sight, out of grasp, out of thought. Let go. Recall that we are in the presence of God. We are always in God’s presence but here and now, we place ourselves in God’s presence. Give thanks for one thing, one gift I have been given, one trace of gold I have found.

2 Ask for help from the Holy Spirit. Ask the Spirit to come into our hearts and help us freely and honestly review the happenings of our last day.

3 Look back briefly and re-live our day with gratitude. Recall the events. What gifts have I received today? What gifts have I given? I thank God for all of these, their source. In the words of Peter Steele SJ, “each breath a gift; each glance a blessing”.

4 Search for the movements of our heart which may have been divided between helping and disregarding, listening and ignoring, criticising and forgiving, speaking and silence.

This is not a time for dwelling too long on shortcomings but a gentle look at how we have not used or else mis-used God’s gifts. Do not let the false spirit be undermining. With hope, ask for help or forgiveness.

5 Look ahead to tomorrow. Have a heart-to-heart with Jesus. Ask for direction, for support.

Finish with Ignatius’ prayer, the Suscipe:

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory,

my understanding and my entire will.

Take, all I have and call my own.

Because, whatever I have or hold, you have given.

So, I return it all to you and surrender it.

Give me only your love and your grace.

That is enough for me.