Today Mark proposes an Examen centered on Spiritual Freedom:
- I begin in my usual way.
- I spend a few moments in gratitude, thanking God for one or two of the blessings, big and small, that I’ve received today: the good mood in which I woke up, a kind word from a friend, my undeserved good health, an easy commute to work, another day with my wonderful spouse.
- Looking back, I ask God, “What was my most unfree moment today?” That is: At what moment was I being carried away by my own fears, resentments, cravings, addictions, anxieties, or despairing thoughts? In my imagination, I return to that specific moment in my day. I imagine God and myself watching this moment together, side by side. I imagine that we can look not only at the externals, as though watching a video from a hidden camera, but also that we can look at the internal movements. In other words, God and I watch as my heart fills to the brim with the negative emotion that swept me away.
- I speak to God about what I see. I ask God for forgiveness or maybe for healing. I allow God to show me his perspective of the situation. Is there anything that I sense God is trying to tell me about this? I talk with him about this, especially acknowledging my deepest emotions about it.
- Looking back again, I ask, “What was my most spiritually free moment today?” In which moment did I feel and act free from negativity low and earthly thoughts and emotions? At what point did 1 feel most alive and most in sync with God, even if I didn’t notice it at the time?
- Just as before, I imagine God and myself watching this grace-filled moment. We replay the moment here in my prayer time. We observe not only what happened, but also what was going on deep in my heart. I speak to God about this. I allow God to show me his perspective. We talk about it for a while. We celebrate that moment.
- Now God and I look to tomorrow. How can I live my day tomorrow out of that freedom that I felt in today’s grace-filled moment? What attitudes and behaviors will I adopt in order to avoid the pit of that unfree moment? What is God calling me to do to live in spiritual freedom?
- I make whatever commitments I feel called to make. I ask God for help to keep that commitment.
- I end in my usual way.