Jesuit approach to prayer
Prayer transcends time. So too, ways of praying are spiritual jewels handed down to us through the centuries. Such is the gift of Ignatius of Loyola, the 16th-century founder of the Jesuit order. An influential figure in the Counter Reformation, which transformed the Roman Church from within, Ignatius’ insistence on extensive study and formation stood out against the rather meager standards for priestly education at the time.
Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises evidence a similar level of depth and structure. Rather than writing prayers intended for reflection or memorization, Ignatius’ Exercises are instead a method of prayer and personal growth. The Exercises form the basis of transformative retreats given to laypersons and Jesuit novitiates around the world. (The Exercises are nearly always given in the context of a guided retreat and are not intended to be read like a novel!) Here in Cincinnati, we are blessed to have the Jesuit Spiritual Center so near. Located in Milford, the Center offers retreats of various duration year-round.
The Daily Examen was developed by St. Ignatius as a way to continue the benefits of the Spiritual Exercises on a daily basis. This accessible, simple method of prayer demands little time, but pays a huge spiritual dividend.
The Daily Examen
1. Become aware of God’s presence.
2. Review the day with gratitude.
3. Pay attention to your emotions.
4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it.
5. Look toward tomorrow.
Read more about each step of The Daily Examen.