Ignatius of Loyola – Examen

Ignatius_of_Loyola_(militant) Biography

  • Born in Spain in 1491
  • Mom dies soon after birth
  • Youngest of thirteen children


  • Raised in aristocracy
  • Loved Military Exercises
  • Wanted fame

Young Adult

  • Fought battles for a Duke in Spain
  • Very successful in multiple battles
  • 1521 one leg was broken. The other mangled.

  • Conversion while recovering
  • Read about lives of the Saints
  • The life of Christ – visualizing oneself in the presence of Christ during the episodes of His life.
  • Call to convert non-Christians
  • In 1522, well enough to leave bed.
  • Entered the Benedictine monastery
  • Worked in a hospital for a place to live and begged for food.
  • Go to cave and practiced spiritual exercises and kept journal
  • Experienced doubt
  • Journal led to the spiritual disciplines of the Jesuits
St_Ignatius_of_Loyola_(1491-1556)_Founder_of_the_Jesuits Examen

  • Two processes –
  • Heal “Disordered affection” – we want the wrong thing.  Look at life through Biblical lens to heal.
  • Seek and find Gods’ will
  • Prayerfully looking at your life.  Without self-examination, we ask the wrong questions

First method

  • Step 1: Thank God
  • Step 2: Ask for Help
  • Step 3: Think through our lives hour by hour or period by period.  How have we misused our memory, intellect or will
  • Key is to use scripture
  • Use ten commandments,
  • The seven capital sins: pride, anger, avarice, gluttony, lust, envy and sloth
  • And the virtues: humility, patience, generosity, temperance, chastity, neighborly love and diligence
Second Method

  • Daily particular examination of conscious
  • Pick one thing you know need to work on
  • Pay attention to how you are doing on it
  • Chart progress daily
  • Step 1: Wake up and pray for help on issue
  • Step 2: At noon, mark number of times the issue occured
  • Step 3: Before bed, mark number again

Third method

  • Newer form
  • Discernment through the nudging of the soul
  • “Consolations” – gracious presence of God; inflamed; more love of God; not happiness
  • “Desolations” – absence of God; lack of faith; lack of hope
  • Step 1: Thank God
  • Step 2: Quiet our hearts to reflect on the past day
  • Step 3: In God’s presence, bring to mind consolations and desolations.  May journal thoughts
  • Step 4: Ponder their significance
  • Step 5: Close by thanking God for being present
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