Fr. James Martin, S.J.: Does your prayer change you?

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

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Does your prayer change you? If you’ve been praying the Daily Examen for a few months or even a few weeks, you may have started to notice a few ways that God is active in your life. You might have a better sense of where God is during your day. But here’s a question: Is this making a difference in your life? One of the aims of prayer is to change you, to move you to conversion—what the Gospels call a “metanoia,” a change of mind and heart. Think about it this way: an encounter with Jesus always changed people in the Gospels. Our prayer should make us open to these kinds of changes, of metanoias.

For example, perhaps you notice one person coming up all the time in your Daily Examen. You notice that this person is consistently kind to you or helpful. It’s important to be grateful to God for that person, but is that awareness changing you, or moving you to action in any way?  For example, have you told her how you feel? Have you said, “I’m really grateful for your friendship”? More importantly, have you begun to see her as someone who embodies God’s love? Often in the Examen, if you notice a person with the depth that God is inviting you to, it can transform your understanding of that person. And so the next time that you encounter this person in your daily life, you are reminded that she is a carrier of God’s grace. Pretty soon you’ll start to see not only her, but the whole world, as suffused with God’s presence. Finally, you’ll discover that are able to notice God not only in your Daily Examen, but throughout your day. And you’ll find, to your surprise, that you have changed. Thanks to your prayer.

Michael Barberi
2 weeks 1 day ago

Thanks Fr.Martin for reminding me of the Examen. I ordered the following book below the other day. Do you have an opinion of it or do you have another recommendation?

Reimagining the Ignatian Examen: Fresh Ways to Pray from Your Day
Thibodeaux SJ, Father Mark E.

Mark M
2 weeks ago

My Daily Examen reminds me:
The monster McCarrick is still an Archbishop.
Even now he lives comfortably on your dime, dear faithful pewsitter.
And the bishop of Rome is onboard with this, no problem.
Bet on it.

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