By The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster
Ignatian Spirituality includes the “Daily Examination of Conscience” in which you (1) begin your morning, immediately upon rising, resolving to guard against a sin or defect you are seeking to improve within yourself, then later (2) after dinner, asking God for grace, recall how many times you have fallen into the particular sin you were hoping to avoid. Then (3) after supper, examine each hour since the morning, and make a mark for each time you fell into the particular fault or sin. In order to support yourself throughout the day, when you fall into the particular sin or fault, place your hand on your breast and be sorry for having fallen, which you can in the presence of others without perceiving what you are doing. Maybe it is a practice you’ve used before, or one that would inspire you this week.
St. Ignatius’ prayer below is written with the story of Jesus’ life held close, as you hear language about “water from the side of Christ” from the story of his crucifixion, and “blood of Christ, inebriate me” drawing near to the story of the last supper, and the practices of communion. It has a tenderness and rhythm to it that is inviting and would be comforting especially in times of trouble.
Let us pray:
Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
Good Jesus, hear me.
Within the wounds, shelter me.
From turning away, keep me.
From the evil one, protect me.
At the hour of my death, call me.
Into your presence lead me
to praise you with all your saints
forever and ever.
—Ignatius of Loyola, 1491–1556