Catholic Bible 101

21st Century Catholic Apologetics for Mary's Spiritual Warriors

St. Ignatius Spirituality

St. Ignatius was the founder of the Jesuits, or the Society of Jesus. This order stresses education and spirituality as its basis.  The Jesuits have discovered some powerful ways to meditate on and contemplate the mysteries of God.  Some take a whole month in a retreat (Called "The Spiritual Exercises"), but there is one thing that all Jesuits do twice a day, at noon and at bedtime, that we all can do.  It's basically a 5 step meditation called "The Examen", or Examination of Conscience. It's unlike the normal examination of conscience that we do before we go into the confessional to get our sins forgiven by Jesus in the person of his priest.  The purpose of the Examen is to get you to put away the clutter of the world with all of its noise and to put your mind and thoughts into how God sees your life.

The steps are as follows:

1. Put yourself in the presence of God.

If you can, find a place of silence and recognize that Jesus has been right next to you, all day, every day, watching your every move, knowing your every thought. Meditate on His goodness, and pretend that you and He are in your favorite place in the world.

2. Invoke the Holy Spirit to help you.

Ask the Consoler, the Holy Spirit, who intercedes for us all the time, to open your mind and your heart to the realities of your day.

3. Review the events of your day, good and bad.

Go over your day in your mind - From the morning traffic jam,  what your boss said to you, what you said  to whom, what you thought about things,  how you treated your spouse, what movies and TV shows you watched, what you viewed on the internet,  how you looked lustfully at certain people, etc.

4. Tell Jesus that you are sorry for the bad, and thank Him for the good.

From your heart, make a sincere act of contrition for all of the bad things that you did, and say prayers, like an Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be, for all of the good things that you did.

5. Resolve to do better in the future.

Tell Jesus that if He should give you another day to live, you will sincerely try harder to do His will tomorrow, rather than doing your will. Tell God that you will start trusting in Him completely, in all things, all the time.

The great benefits of this daily examen is that you will stop being so worldly, and will start to think in each and every situation - "What would God want me to do here"?  This kind of thinking is rare in the world today, with a lot of people thinking "What's in this for me?", rather than thinking "What is God's will for me in this event?" If you do the examen every day until you die, you will most likely die a VERY holy and humble person.

The Prayer of St. Ignatius

"Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding and my entire will, all I have and possess; you have given me, I now give it back to you, O Lord; all is yours, dispose of it according to your will; give me only your love and your grace; that is enough for me."  AMEN



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