The summer of 2020 was hard but good for me. How about you? We had our daughter’s graduation from high school pieced together in a series of small events. Our summer vacation plans got altered and I found myself at home a lot more than usual due to Covid-19. Did you experience a challenging summer as well?
I was challenged to read the book “You Are What You Love” by James K.A. Smith over the summer by my school. I used my extra time at home to really dig in and read this book thoroughly. It became a highlight of my summer and helped me adjust the way I was viewing my current situation and how I wanted to choose to live daily.
In his book, Smith focuses a lot on daily liturgies (habits or work done by God’s people). One liturgy he touched on was a daily Prayer of Examen. This prayer intrigued me so I did a little research on it. I discovered that it’s an ancient technique created by Ignatius Loyola for prayerful reflection on daily events to reflect on God’s presence and to anticipate his direction in the future.
As a result of my studies and my search for more of God’s presence in my life, I decided to incorporate it as one of my daily liturgies. I also felt it could be valuable for my 3rd grade students who were returning to school in the fall with anxious hearts.
I’d like to share with you what I wrote for myself and my students in hopes that you may try to incorporate this liturgy in your family as you host your student.
Prayer of God’s People – “God, you have been with us all day long. We come to you hopeful for the day ahead. We thank you for our beating hearts and breathing lungs which allow us another day in your beautiful creation.”
Quiet Remembrance- Psalm 139:1-3
Take a few moments to quiet yourself
Recall that God has accompanied you throughout your day
Gratitude Review: Psalm 9:1-2
Think through your day, hour by hour, subject by subject and take special note of God’s many small gifts to you. Also, review the times you were able to give to other. Gifts might include a smile, offering forgiveness, helping someone who is hurting, or work well done.
Presence: Psalm 139:7-8
Recall how God was present today and how you responded to Him in the key events of your day. Pray for God’s “Spirit of Truth” (John 16:13) to guide you into all truth.
Ask yourself: When was I loving? Did I miss an opportunity to love? When was I sinful? Did I offer to ask for forgiveness? Did I pursue peace? Did I live in fear?
Sorrow: Psalm 51:10-12
Express your sorrow to God if you have sinned or done something you regret. Ask God to forgive you and (if necessary) seek forgiveness from the person you sinned against.
Grace- Ephesians 2:8-10
Ponder the definition of grace- “where God shows goodness toward those who have no reason to expect it and may not deserve it.”
Prayer of God’s People: God, you have been with us all day long, since the time we woke up until now. Thank you for the grace you gave us today and help us to draw closer to you in the coming days.”