A Time to Pause and Reflect
Mr. Frederick Perez, Examen Committee Head
Posted Tuesday, 08-Aug-2006 9:26 AM
The Examen is a very important prayer method taught by St. Ignatius of Loyola to help people “find God in all things.” It is usually done twice a day and many people do the Examen daily: one around lunchtime and again before going to bed. Unlike in traditional prayers wherein a Bible verse or a religious reading would be used as material for reflection, the Examen’s primary matter for reflection is the person’s experiences of the day.
Following this Ignatian tradition, Xavier High School promotes the Examen through a 10-minute reflection period after lunch break. It aims to inculcate in the community, especially the students, a habit of pausing in the middle of the day so that they may reflect on what transpired during the first half of the day. More than learning from their experiences, the Examen intends to help the members of the community cultivate their personal relationship with God by enabling them to be more sensitive to the ways of God and how he communicates with them through their unique life-experiences. The reflections in the Examen period will be played through the public address system just like the morning assembly.
The Examen helps one grow in spiritual sensitivity and helps him recognize and receive God’s care and assistance. It is a simple prayer, a prayer for busy people who are continually seeking to do the Lord’s will. It is a privileged moment for silent reflection amidst the busyness of our daily activities. In this prayer, one tries to find the presence of God as he reflects each day. After doing this regularly, one will form an awareness of one’s self and his relationships. More importantly, the experience will provide the person the opportunity to talk to God daily.
Since the Examen entails reflecting on one’s daily experiences, a good deal of silence and concentration is necessary. A disposition of silence has to be maintained both in the external and internal level.
During the Examen, the students are expected to maintain silence and respect the atmosphere of recollection. No one is allowed to talk or make noise during the period. If it may help them keep their disposition, they may close their eyes, but they are encouraged to stay awake.
The Examen period may also include reflective writing wherein the students are to write something for journaling upon the instruction of the speaker in the PA system.
Teachers, students and parents are all invited to write Examen modules and reflection or share inspiring poems, stories, and songs. All interested contributors may send their work to email@example.com.
The High School Department launched the Examen last July 11, 2006.
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