Kitchen Table Examen Prayer

“Finding God in all things” is at the heart of Ignatian Spirituality.  To do this, Ignatius encouraged us to use the Daily Examen prayer.  Through the Examen, we seek God’s presence amidst the details of our day.  We reflect on where we felt most connected with God (thank you) and where we felt least connected with God (forgive me).  We wrap up our prayer with the hope-filled assurance that God will be with us in the day to come.  It’s a simple little prayer that helps us to find God in all things. 

I recently came to the delightful realization that my family has been unintentionally practicing a simple version of the Ignatian Examen for many years.  Whenever we sit down together around our well-worn kitchen table for a meal (far less often than I wish!) we play a game called “High-Low.” After saying grace, we talk about our day and share something for which we are thankful (a high) as well as something that is a struggle (a low). This practice provides a way to “examine” our days and share our highs and lows with each other. Then, before the end of the meal, we chat about what activities are coming up in the days to come.

This simple game of “High-Low” is like an informal kitchen table Examen - we remember that God is with us, share our joys, share our struggles, and look ahead to the day to come. In the spirit of Saint Ignatius, I invite you to try the prayerful game of “High-Low” (on your own, with your family or even as an opening prayer before a committee meeting) as you seek to find God in all things.