Recently I led a workshop on spiritual self-care. I based my part of the workshop on the practice of using the examen of Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order. He recommended that the brothers examine their lives twice each day—at lunch and at night before bed.
In the workshop, I recommended the examen questions: For what moment today am I most grateful? For what moment today am I least grateful? Next, I suggested participants ask God to bring to their heart to the moment for which they are the most grateful. Then they should breathe in gratitude and thank God.
I think of this exercise as soul aerobics or spiritual chemotherapy. It cures one of the spiritual illnesses that we can fall prey to (especially when stressed out)—resentment and envy. For me, it can start to reveal patterns and reminds me of how much I have to be thankful for—even on a very bad day!
This message is an excerpt from a March 2012 Women of the ELCA blog by Kate Elliott.