Spiritual LIfe

How can I get closer to Jesus?
Here are some resources to go deeper and closer to Jesus.

Devotions to Jesus
1. Divine Mercy - What is Divine Mercy?

Devotions to Blessed Mother
1. Our Lady of Guadalupe - history and devotion
2. Our Lady of Medjugorje - history

Devotions to Saints
1. St. Therese of Lisieux - history and basilica
2. St. Jean Vianney - bio and writings

St. Ignatius of Loyola and Prayer
1. The Daily Examen
2. The What-Why-How of Prayer
3. Creighton Online Retreat

The Daily Examen
This small prayer, the Examen of Consciousness, is the heart of the spirituality developed by St. Ignatius Loyola and his followers. If practiced once or twice daily, it will help move you closer to the heart of Christ in all your thoughts and deeds. It enables us to open our heart more fully to the will of God in our lives and recognise God’s presence in everything, as we go about our daily tasks.

Take a moment to relax and feel attentive and open to God.
1. Recall you are in the presence of God.
  • We are always in the presence of God but in prayer we place ourselves in God’s presence
  • Ask the Holy Spirit to help you look at your life with love this day.
2. Look at your day with gratitude.
  • Begin to give thanks to God for the gifts of the day.
  • Take special care to notice what you have received and what you gave.
  • As you complete the review of your gifts and the particular gifts of the day, pause to thank God for all of these.
3. Ask help from the Holy Spirit.
  • Look at the ways you have responded to God’s gracious gifts and love this day.
  • Ask the Holy Spirit to come into your heart and help you look at your actions clearly with an understanding of your limitations.
  • Do not judge what comes to you ,it is a gentle look with the Lord on how you have responded to God’s gifts.
4. Review your day
  • This is the longest of the steps
  • Review your whole day
- Notice the details.
- The context of what happened.
- How you acted.
- Your motives.
- Your feelings.
  • When did I fail?
- Where you did not feel at your best.
- Where there was a barrier to God’s presence.
- How conscious have you been of God’s presence and actions in your life?
  • When did I love?
- Where did you give genuine love and charity.
  • Habits and Life Patterns
- Notice your daily habits are they dragging down your freedom?
- Are specific people causing you to be negative?
  • See both the positive and negative.
- Where has Jesus helped you have a positive response to life.
- Maybe you could have accepted more help from Christ.
- Let yourself become more sensitive to God’s grace.
  • See other forms of God’s presence
- You will also notice the signs of God’s grace that have come to you.
- Through God’s people.
- The Body of Christ.
- Scripture.
- These graces, the intuitions of the things God wishes you to do, will come inside and outside of other regular prayer.
5. Reconcile and Resolve.
- Repetition allows us to be more open to God.
- Our heart to heart talk with Jesus is the fruit of this repetition.
- Imagine Jesus sitting beside you.
- Maybe there is something you did wrong— now is the time to tell Jesus you are sorry and ask Him to be with you the next time a similar situation arises.
- Remember all the good things and thank the Lord for being with you when you avoided a wrong choice or resisted an old temptation.
- Feel the sorrow in your heart when you apologise but also the gratitude when you give thanks for God’s gentle work inside your heart .
- What are your needs for tomorrow? Ask for God’s help and guidance.
We pray as Jesus taught us:
Our Father, who art in Heaven, Hallowed by thy name; thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven; give us this day our daily bread, and forgive, us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
from http://www.rcdom.org.uk/documents/EXAMEN.pdf

Three Circumstances for Making a Decision
Ignatius thought that decisions were made in three circumstances.

When there is no doubt. Sometimes the right decision is unmistakably clear. We know what the right choice is. This knowledge is a gift from God. All we need do is act on what we know to be the right direction. Often this takes some time. We put off acting on what we know we should do.

When feelings are unsettled. Sometimes our emotions are in turmoil when we ponder various alternatives. We experience many strong feelings as we face the prospect of choosing—fearfulness, confidence, confusion, hope, sadness. Decision-making in these situations means observing and interpreting these feelings. We discern their spiritual meaning and discover how they point to the right choice.

When emotions are calm. Sometimes we approach a decision in a tranquil and settled frame of mind. This is probably the most common decision-making circumstance. Here, the Ignatian approach has us prayerfully weigh the pros and cons of each alternative and conduct some exercises that help us clarify the options.