THEME:Subtracting Distraction, Gaining Jesus
BREATH PRAYER: Jesus, keep me centered at the foot of the cross.
Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?” (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.” When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well, since it was on account of him that many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus.
- In a journal, note the day, time, and place you’re sitting.
- Open with silence. Set a timer for 1, 3, or 5 minutes so you can be free to rest and breathe deeply.
- Complete the following sentence in your journal: Today, I feel ________________.
- Read the centering verse above slowly (aloud or silently).
- Pause for a few moments of silence, then pray this week’s breath prayer.
The practice of Examen is usually a means of reviewing our day in the Spirit’s understanding so that we may learn to discern the movement of God in our lives. In today’s examen, we will be reviewing the entire season of Lent.
Before you begin this practice, take time to quiet your mind and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you through this time of reflection. As we walk through the Examen in the Spirit’s understanding rather than our own, we begin to see the movement of God throughout areas of our life that we might otherwise think are “normal” or “forgettable.”
Review your season of Lent. If it helps, pull out your journal or your calendar (the season of Lent began on February 14 this year). As you review this time, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you through these questions:
- What times did I feel the deepest sense of connection with God, others, and myself during Lent? Write whatever comes to mind in your journal and trust that this is the Lord’s guidance.
- What times did I not feel a sense of connection with God, others, and myself during Lent? Write whatever comes to mind in your journal and trust that this is the Lord’s guidance.
- As a community, our aim was to subtract things from our lives to make space for God. Review your season of Lent once more and notice the times that you either subtracted something or were made to subtract something to make room for God. Write whatever comes to mind in your journal and trust that this is the Lord’s guidance.
Summary: Write in your journal a brief summary (five sentences or less) of your practice.
Closing: Jesus, keep me centered at the foot of the cross.