Fr. James Martin, SJ, Talk on praying the Examen

Uploaded by JesuitsofNewEngland on 09.10.2012

Thank you Mary, I'm very honored to be invited
uh... also a proud New England Province
i did my training at our novitiate in jamaica plain
and also studied at the
former Weston
Jesuit school of theology so I feel right at home
and this is our former novitate so I know a lot of guys who went through the program here
So I came in prepared to talk about either one of two things, either
I gave Mary a choice and
you know i i asked Mary, you know, what would be the most useful things for the
we decided that I'd talk a particular form of prayer
and try to help lead you through a little bit of the
a kind of meditation today
the other topic was where to buy
my books (laughter)

it is true, when I wrote the Jesuit Guide
to Almost Everything
I was really thinking of this group
uh... you know committed lay people uh...
people who maybe know a little bit about Jesuit spirituality
but not Jesuits, right?
For a professional, articulated group of people who wanted to know about the
riches of the Ignatian tradition, so
there's a little plug my book
St Ignatius Loyola as you know was a very practical guy, was a very practical
mystic but i'll talk about it
half an hour and we'll do a little guided meditation
and then we'll have some time for Q & A.
He wanted to help people notice where God was in their lives
where God
was already active
and one of the ways he did this was
as you know, through the Spiritual Exercises. Raise your hands if you've heard of the Spiritual Exercises.
uh... okay, Good.
You all know about the tradition of the
Spiritual Exercises and the spirituality of finding God in all things and becoming
a contemplative in action or even a
contemplative leader in action
but i want to talk about
the examination of conscience today
uh... and as we were saying, I'm teaching
well, first, I'm the only Jesuit you'll meet whose never taught
I did my regency which is the time uh... after philosophy before the
theology working with the Jesuit Refugee Corps. Err... now I'm getting the name mixed up (laughter)
The Jesuit Refugee Service
in East Africa and then I worked here at America Magazine
and I've been working at America Magazine since 1999 since my ordination, so I never taught! Ever. Ever, ever, ever.
So they invited me to teach at BC
at the summer institute
and uh... i was meeting with a guy named Tom Groom
who is a Professor at BC
and he has this great Irish brogue
and he said "Ah, we're excited about tonight and your first class"

It's a week
uh... five days
uh... three hours at night
Introduction to Ignatian Spirituality
and I said, you know...
Tom, this is the first time ever taught anywhere, and he goes
"Oh, you might have told us that before"

One of the things we talked about last night which I think is always tough for people is
the examination of conscience
Raise your hand if you've heard of the examination of conscience
Actually, close your eyes...
because I don't want people to see each other
because people feel embarrassed. Raise your hand if you do the examination
of conscience regularly. That means
every night. Okay raise your hands if you think you do it well every night.
Okay, you can open your eyes.
Okay, one person said that.
one person said that.
Four said they do it every night.
One that they do it well every night.
Okay. Why is that?
that is because Catholics think..., well
why aren't people doing it? Well it's probably you're busy.
Right? Everyone wants to find God in their daily lives. So for those of you who didn't raise your hand, you're busy, right?
And i understand and it's great that you can make time for today.
Why don't people think they pray it well? Well, no one thinks they pray well. That's the
dirty little secret of spiritual life. Everyone thinks someone else
or everyone else closes their eyes at night and has this mystical contemplation
that is filled with delights

and spiritual fruits, and
mine is really boring.
Well I'm here to tell you
that everyone struggles with prayer
Right? Everyone struggles with
finding time for prayer; Everyone struggles with prayer
so I'm going to talk to you about the Examination
As a useful tool for helping you find God in your daily life.
okay, now, what is the examination of conscience? It's essentially a review of the day.
The one thing Ignatius said to the Jesuits
is the prayer you should never miss in addition to the Mass. The one prayer he said you never missed during the day
He doesn't say it's Ignatian contemplation where you put yourself in the seat
He doesn't say it's like the Novena where you read the Scripture passages quietly; he doesn't say it's centering prayer
He said a Jesuit should never miss the Examination of Conscience
That's how strong it was for him
and that's how much it figured into his spirituality.
So, it's a review of the day.
Why do we need to do it?
Well because we tend to overlook things
it's human nature to forget things
something that happened
yesterday you will forget
He begins it with
He also wants us to be aware
not simply aware of where God was but of where God is
And frequently it's easier to see God
in retrospect

usually and say
you know
sparking silver
it's like a story about
uh... guide most discusses insistence that you'll see the past
it sometimes decency at at steve here's a look back
active fiber wants those dot noticing and you're doing it day by day
it's also about patterns doesn't work out his activity attitude
company relationships
repair work
if you start to say to yourself every night
pretty soon grateful for my job
never really wrecking states you know had tonight
creating new wonder a sense of right
more aware of it because you ac
looked at it
and of course it going to change
it's not simply noticing on its banks
it snows
it's becoming more grateful
its value
timbers okay so what is it
it was many ways of doing it
uh... highway which is the best way
depending on the way
uh... is five sets three simple
not decrease your hands
and you know we're all busy
almost purpose
this is ten minutes
it's time to check the again today
sometimes people find that they're tired so that over time
that some of the loop early today
right now
the day before radiologic principally newton
but that's only ten minutes
so the first step is this
inflates itself in the presence of god
wide because frequently what we are praying we think that is that what obama
and you're going to review the day
it because it was the fact that this
as the benefit because that was nice grateful that size viet update acrobat
it's just it's just on your own spirit cells
and so
place yourself in the presence of god asking how to deal with you
is a reminder that there is a
here's another
desperate let's go
right during nap time along
thank god
helping with your priya
i think a lot of skill like this with praise
you know it's not about producing
in it's which is very difficult to our western cultures it's not about doing
things are getting down producer x
uh... relationship with god
so place ourselves in the presence of god that would be interested
kate nations asks us to start with
why we do that
because as i said to you i want you to think about
today yesterday
you would probably go to the problems
at work
behind bars
you're up for the past
why don't we do that
because work hard work
a couple days ago i was standing on solid platform based on what might work
in new york
and uh...
i don't think it's very interesting sir
like our over a simple
how's your or i'm not quite
uh... what's that
i saw something in the loop
and i went over and i was a rat
as we get out
um... eleven it states that uh... and it was around paris features
with them
to try
my body
my eyes picks up words that come from that comes from are kind of
stay one
i mean rights regardless of the email
to be able to distinguish something bush
you know could mean the difference between like that
so thing about natural selection
the people of the most attention
are the ones are going to be
so we have a tendency
and that works in terms of you know if your cake handbrake
or eight ministry
it's worthwhile spiritual
to focus on the props are good here
now the most contemplative k person will probably be by the same time
do haha
say regrets the
trials all spent looking for a while
i'm also very town of people's regret college people where problems soft sweet
i think that's a good thing right look for something that needs fixing
the problem is when you start you sound like that right
suspicious as begin the examination concerts with
consciously calling to find things you're grateful
very simple
as not to be a
incompletely came to know what razor both
because of the small pets
i laughed a lot
yesterday it bc
uh... examination uh... in the class
and what separates us we postpone report
alone said uh... i was leaving for class
bottles or spore she's eating cheetos
everest hello
it all or about
and she can speak to the screen door
and remember that and as originally semi it's not all
the screen door cheetos elmhurst lou
you with us that
you know
old boss has this problem
submissions losses a drought herself
gratitude juicier things uh... and could be anything
uh... i i didn't get a four little past few years ago or planning on all things
and help them with
help them that the other day swelter world people
and if you talk about examination actions
and so we feel that a couple times
the couple takes as an example and just
at last i had a really nice orange
you know if it doesn't do you think would be a race but could be the taste
of marketwatch
to it
communities orange
there's a lot to do it now but do it
or otherwise dot
and i think i would
you know they had different parts of the haitian spirituality they kept
i think that's it for granted
i kept saying lighthearted
just reminded him as a class list and send a picture of the take call him
slick twisting arms and i A
said your call today
tribute today stars
what did you do
where did you experience god
where do you feel god's presence
you know from start to
just like answer rewind it taped
reminded you are
looking for your day test what difference it rummaging through your day
and scene work out more
his notice work
that the the force that is so wrong
you know how much around zepa buses whether jesus in israel oscar wilde
applies to them
via i can probably are simple person
right act is probably something that you regret
might be a great extent now
selflessness self inflicted something's needed
sandwich that procedure
you bring it up
and u_s_ government
and you may also decide you want to
avail yourself the sacraments leash
and finally uh... you embrace
yes got good race for the next day moving
exam is really meant to help us for god was going to be a great
quick story and i will try
uh... i was
project rectify division kitty i want to do it
want are
and out part of our stuff
archivos about
was working at ministries outside ministries was blissful skipped the
first year
we've got a pic ministries and work for the guy who worked with street gangs of
new york city
stacking brother shelves
uh... flat lagech our dates a presidency
working risk
exit or a gang passions and uh... would stop play despite crests
i thought again upset
which is brother officer fine during assets you know flicks
handout for
after work with street gangs be facts that have missed the boat play sequels
i'm heads
and uh... videos by the way that we get an excuse to stop
took advil
both black rose
and it was a lot of little guys it's really interesting i mean it was just it
was very quiet pretty accurate paper rose cool
i see there is a a hole in the catholic suggests class issues
who worked with for the bill
and one of the judge was the last century
as from do
i want to my head
here and i go
as the cigarette
itself next year with
ducing thank the chair i worked with uh... a community center
and stopping uh... or homeless people what jobs
had workers she is hurt prosecutors corporate finance and h_r_
and out
so i had to talented resignation
so i would work with people that pop into practice interviews right resonates
wants the supreme craigslist com
what is the correct
you know people coming ages you can adopt
and there was little became all along that she was a
chisholm out
worksheets homeless ob
chan every week to see
or resume
citizens should have homes
so was it was um...
it withstands the square with the times very frustrated
size stds painful
but i just think or so whatever's with meisters rector and
it expiry was
canadian studies
style la
and he says
univision we're talking about your thank you very much his daughter again though
i said
well that's good for
witness it
you know understood it it will help these people
is his name is barbara writing about
and i said
not sport because or for
and he said well i hope you next time you go to the the
community center
i want you to at night think about the war
sort of a few like there to let it go likely to be went to the howard sector
and uh...
so that went through my like sam
this is an uh... no at present
funds are
base up
uh... after dot
not that
so i called
want his face my
i was like
now messages from reports i've just
but woman hoops
on now
faithfully insects answer
my idaho bits of uncovered this
uh... d
so the next day i set my director to see it
there's the sears tower
i heard it was like how about two thirds like hotwire
credit line
and that's how it might be something else
which character
strangest c_n_n_'s last night described he says
somewhat want
what's that
you're feeling desperate
pulses that work for you
what is the next time i saw a lot of reflecting some
which of course
area where uh...
she was
abounds with us
you work
adoptee mister
it was the signage
because what's mine devices attitudes
reopens state of the serbs
so i'd like to is strong
competitive examination
uh... this is the template leaves
at least for now
so it's been tough little
so it is not take too long don't worry
it's very simple
and um... you know
the salaam theater quietly
uh... keypad
executed contract so