Each evening, my husband and I greet each other with: “How was your day?”
Replies may range from: “Ugh! Don’t ask!” to “Fabulous!” But making time to consciously review and share the highs, lows and everything in between helps us better understand and appreciate each other.
This question can be a great conversation starter with God, too. Prayerfully recalling the day nudges our memories of God’s loving, gentle care: the driver who motioned us ahead; the co-worker who asked about a stressful family situation; the funny text from one of the kids; the surprising sight of a full moon.
Saint Ignatius of Loyola, who founded the Jesuits in the 1500s, developed a daily review, the Examen, that continues to be widely used. The five basic steps are:
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1. Become aware of God’s presence.
2. Review the day with gratitude.
3. Pay attention to your emotions.
4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it.
5. Look toward tomorrow.
This “How was your day?” conversation with God can take about 10 minutes, and may help us better understand and appreciate our relationship with God. Contemporary spiritual writer Robert J. Wicks notes that a daily review enables us to “learn from the emotional residue of the day.” That vivid phrase reminds me of panning for gold — when I sift through the day in prayer, I can more clearly see the shining specks of God’s love, leading, healing and guiding me.
How was your day? God is eager to hear.
Lorraine Senci, pastoral associate
St. Paul Parish Pastoral Care & Spirituality