“Consciousness Examen: Becoming God’s Heart for the World” by George Aschenbrenner, SJ

The following are my notes from an article in George Aschenbrenner's book, Quickening the Fire in Our Midst:

Purpose of article = show how regular Examen can convert our hearts into devotion to the Sacred Heart of God.

The Examen gives primary concern to what is primary: God’s love.

Formal Examen sensitizes our hearts to the presence of this love in the ordinary details of every day.

From this greater awareness of God’s love, we also become more are of the times we are oblivious to this love or refuse to respond to this love.

(2) Importance of the informal examen –

Formal examen:

  • specific time and style of prayer
  • should gradually spill over and infiltrate, as a special faith-sensitivity, a person’s daily life.

Informal examen:

  • a way of living.
  • who we are and who we are becoming.
  • genuine faith-sensitivity of the heart
  • a dynamic connaturality with the Beloved.
  • ultimate goal = to become whom we contemplate.

Contrition and sorrow:

  • God alone sees our sinfulness most clearly for what it truly is: a choice against love.
  • a purifying consolation of God calling us to greater love and life and faith.
  • a healthy guilt born of God based upon God’s great love and our inability to respond fully to that love.

The forgiving love of God brings the process of repentance to a conclusion of lively gratitude, profound joy, and enthusiastic zeal for ministry (192).

Goal of Examen = Devotion to the Sacred Heart of God in Jesus

  • Thanksgiving and sorrow are the two chief affections in faith of the examen – and the sorrow itself, as we have also seen, finds its fulfillment in thanksgiving.
  • Through thanksgiving, our regular examen mediates our conversion and growth in Christ Jesus.
  • The examen is daily involvement in this process of transforming the impulsive desolations of our consciousness into the deep, consoling devotion and virtue of God’s Sacred Heart.
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