Reviewed by Meredith Gould (@meredithgould) who was thrilled to receive this book as a review copy from Loyola Press.
The Prayer that Changes Everything:
Discovering the Power of St. Ignatius Loyola's Examen
Loyola Press (2011)
Paper: 85 pps.
Read the 1st chapter online!
In his new book, The Prayer that Changes Everything, Jim Manney provides a highly engaging guide to the examen created by St. Ignatius Loyola during the 16th century.
Yes, I'm admittedly smitten by Ignatian spirituality and have a "thing" for the fine folks at Loyola Press. But that's not why I urge members and visitors of @Virtual_Abbey to include this book in their personal libraries. The examen is a spiritual discipline that takes nothing from, and will add a lot to, praying the Daily Office.
The examen is both a structured contemplative prayer practice and a way of viewing the world. At the core of Ignatian spirituality is the ongoing and grateful awareness that God is in all things, everywhere and at all times. All things. Everywhere. At all times. It provides a way to embrace this spiritual reality but, as Manney explains, the examen is "actually an attitude more than a method, a time set aside for thankful reflection on where God is in your everyday life."
If you've ever tried completing the Spiritual Exercises and then given up on engaging in a daily examen, this book will help you re-discover the value of this prayer practice. The Prayer That Changes Everything puts the examen in simple (but not simplistic) terms. In delightfully readable text, Manney provides examples of how this centuries-old prayer can help us encounter God in contemporary life. This is a book to keep nearby — on your desk at work, bedside or tucked into a pocket — long after you've finished reading it.