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How to use this journal

This journal is arranged for daily use.
Scripture is taken from the Yearly Christian Lectionary, which is a daily scripture guide that throughout the generations has been read from and practiced by millions of Christians and the global church. You will notice there are two additional elements added to the Lectio process.
Preperation for spiritual reading [silencio]
This is a simple encouragement to prepare your soul (whole person) before entering the four elements of lectio. Take up to 60+ seconds if needed to quiet your mind and heart and prayerfully prepare yourself as your enter the Scriptures.
The discipline of spiritual reading is one of the most vital in our growth toward wholeness in the image of Christ for the sake of others.
-M. Robert Mullholland

Weekly Journal Reading

Monday | Old Testament
Tuesday | New Testament
Wednesday | Psalms
Thursday | Gospel Reading (Luke)
Friday | Words of Wisdom (Proverbs)
Saturday | Examen Prayer
Sunday | Journal Page

Weekly Examen: The Examen Prayer

Like many of the mothers and fathers of our faith, St. Ignatius of Loyola (16th century) cared deeply for the formation and health of one’s spiritual life and journey. Whether it be in community or in solitude Ignatius encouraged others to talk with Christ and to foster a relationship of honesty, vulnerability and reflection. The following practice is called The Examen where one simply pauses to prayerfully reflect on your week with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
We invite you to set this prayer as a weekly rhythm every Saturday. Taking the same amount of time as you would for your regular Lectio Divina practice -- pause, sit and review the experiences of this past week.
The Examen practice (or prayer) is a progression of reflections, steps, or movements (see below) that like a magnifying glass allow you to see yourself and the activity of God more clearly as you retrace your week. As one author puts it,
"we are searching for the ripples of the divine that radiate throughout the ordinary."
As you give yourself to the Examen practice both joyful (consolation) and painful (desolation) moments from your week will surface. Take notice of what you’re feeling and sensing, and when the pain filled moments speak, lean in. For what the Holy Spirit may be initiating could be the gentle work where healing, transformation, clearing, or wholeness is taking place. Trust God’s love.
"Real prayer is about change, and change is never easy." - Jim Manney
Each Saturday you will find the following list on the top of the page. You will have the front and back page to write your reflection as you give yourself to the Weekly Examen.
  • Become aware of the presence of God and His love for you.
  • Review the week with gratitude.
  • While asking yourself the following questions, be attentive to what you’re feeling or to what you’re thinking:
    • Where in your week did you experience consolation; joy, comfort, peace, etc?
    • Where in your week did you experience desolation; sadness, frustration, failure, etc?
  • As you become attentive to your desolation what sadness, frustration, or failure might you need to confess? Where might you need to receive forgiveness?
  • With hope, look toward tomorrow. What newness would the Holy Spirit be inviting you into?
A
consolation
is an experience that causes you to feel fully alive, at peace, joyful, happy, comforted, whole, connected, your best self, etc. and could be understood as an experience in which you feel close God.
A
desolation
is an experience that causes you to feel drained of energy, frustrated, irritated, angry, sad, sorrowful, alone, isolated, unaccepted, fragmented, less than your best self, etc. and could be understood as an experience in which you feel far away from God.
"The tricky thing about desolation is that even though it is an uncomfortable and sometimes distressing experience and we may feel as if God is far away, God is still very near. So the gift is praying with the desolation, telling God about your experience and asking for God’s grace in the experience. (It is also good to give God thanks for the consolation experiences.) God shows up in desolations AND consolations. It’s just that it’s easier to “experience” God in consolations and we often move away from God in desolations."
(Gravity Center (www.gravitycenter.com) - used with permission)

Weekly Examen as a Family

To welcome your children into this weekly Examen, here is a simplified version that may help introduce this prayer. It is our hope this would help create a simple family rhythm, one that can happen: around the table, in the living room, before bed, while taking a walk, or while driving home at the end of a long day.
  • With gratitude review your day asking yourself these two questions:
    • "Where did I/you experience the most joy today?"
    • "Where did I/you experience the most sadness, frustration, or failure?"
  • Review and discuss these experiences with each other.
  • Pay attention to what these experiences made you feel, what they made you think.
  • Be careful to hold the words of others with compassionate listening. This is not a time to give counsel, advise or analysis, but for attentiveness to the work of God within the day.
  • With hope, look toward tomorrow.
Things to consider:

Make Time

For most of us there is no time lying around to be discovered. So anything worthwhile we have to implement it into our daily routine or rhythm. This journal will require that of you. This journal is a daily one for that purpose, to help you carve out the time in your day for this practice to take root. If it be 20 minutes in the morning, lunch, evening, or anytime in-between, make the time.

Create Place

Literally find a place where you might go to enter the Lectio process. Our example is Jesus, who took time to get away, to go a specific place to spend time in prayer with the Father. Where is your place?

Persevere

This is a long-term project. It will probably do us little good if we do not persevere in its practice. This will require a sense of dedication and commitment. Many of us give up applying this reason, “I don’t get anything out of it.” Sometimes we all feel this way, yet perseverance needs to be worked out.

Group Lectio

For as many centuries as Lectio Divina has been practiced by individuals, so it has been practiced in community. We invite you to join our friends (listed below) and incorporate the journal into a rhythm within your community. Whether it be in small groups, youth group meet-ups to women or mens gatherings around the kitchen table or coffee shop, your community life will deepen through this simple practice of Divine Reading. Since listening is at the heart of Lectio Divina, by practicing in a group setting we nurture this gift of listening by hearing those around us and the movement of the Holy Spirit within them. You don’t need to be an expert to guide these moments, but if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at lectiodivinajournal@gmail.com. In addition, we would love to hear about your groups, see photos of you with your journal in the world around you.
And Remember;
Like the manna collected by Israel in the desert, there is only enough spiritual nourishment for one day. We cannot store it to save ourselves exertion. "If today you hear God’s voice, harden not your heart" (Psalm 95:7-8). True, some of us can, like camels, live off our humps for a while — but the supply is not inexhaustible and it depends on our having previously absorbed substantial intake. Most people’s experience is that it is necessary to keep a thread of continuity in their exposure to Scripture. That way God’s word does not become stale; renewed frequently, it adapts to our changing life. Instead of being an exercise for routine’s sake it becomes a vital component of our desire to live our lives in the context of the divine.
-Michael Casey
Enjoy...
Copyright 2019, Lectio Divina Journal