Campus Ministry and the Murphy Center for Ignatian Spirituality have teamed up to offer an examen for our community each week. This invitation is an opportunity to go deeper into a shared text and consider how our mission and Jesuit values guide our work together here at Fairfield and beyond. Each week, a different member of the Campus Ministry or Murphy Center staff will provide a text for us. Video of the reflection can be found on our Instagram and Facebook pages.
From Marc Alibrandi, Campus Minister for Spiritual Programs
This week’s examen comes to us as the season has officially changed from summer to fall, and the weather beginning to change with it. As the temperature begins to drop and the leaves begin to turn, we’re invited to interior reflection and the change present within ourselves. With these changes happening all around us, this week’s examen asks us to reflect on how our Spirit might be shifting as well:
As we begin our time in prayer together, I’d like to invite you to take up a comfortable position. Take a deep breath in and out. Take another deep breath in and out.
First, spend some time in gratitude for all things big and small. Know that you are in the presence of God who can be found in all things.
Next, Looking over the past few weeks, months, or even years, I ask God for the grace to see any shift that may have occurred in my spirit. For example, have I grown despondent lately? Have I snapped at people more frequently? Am I quieter than I used to be? Am I more at peace? Do I laugh more? Do I sleep better or worse than I used to? Have I grown confident? Lazy? Anxious? Needy? Prayerful? Loving? Forgiving? Despairing? Hopeful? In what ways have I changed?
I May identify several shifts in my spirit, but I ask God to reveal to me the most influential one. I zoom in on that one. Has this been a good shift? A bad shift? Or a mixed bag? I ask God to show me how this shift has played a role in my life. I ask God to show me God’s perspective on it. I ask God to show me how God has been present in this shift. I also ponder: In what ways has this shift not been from God?
I ask for forgiveness for and healing from any part that is not from God
If this shift has had a good impact on my life, then I spend some long moments in thanksgiving
I ask God to show me what I am called to do about this shift. Should I “feed the shift,” working toward growing further in that direction? Should I “shift the shift” working toward changing course-adjusting my attitude, changing my behavior, and so on? What am I called to do? Who am I called to be?
If I feel called to do so, I make a promise to God to do what I’m called to do, to be who I’m called to be in this area of my life.
Take a deep breath in and out and slowly return to whatever space you find yourself.
This Examen can be found in the book “Reimagining the Examen” by Mark Thibodeaux, SJ or in the companion app of the same name