Saturday is a special day.  I begin each Saturday with the opening verse for Saturday Sunrise in The Vitruvian Man’s Book of Hours

A leper came to Jesus and said to him, “If you choose, you can make me clean.”Jesus smiled, stretched out his hand, touched him and said to him, “I do choose.  Be made clean.”  Immediately, the leprosy left him, and he was made clean.”

The Vitruvian Man’s Book of Hours

My second act is to open my computer and listen to the Irish Jesuit “Pray as You Go” offering.  Saturday is always an ‘examen.’  Today’s was especially meaningful.  You see, yesterday was the first anniversary of my bicycle accident, and one year ago today, I had surgery to repair the broken femur and damaged artificial hip.

I continue to walk like Chester on “Gunsmoke,” but I am getting better and do it without a cane or walking stick.  Mrs. tVM and our friend Dwight make sure I ride the Peloton and walk in the desert with Clarence and Dwight’s dog Zeppy.  We extend our distances every day.

The Examen is typically a meditative practice, but this morning, it involved ‘physical exercise’ which is just what the doctor ordered.  The exercise was extremely simple, but I found it quite effective, so much so, that I want to share it with as many people as I can.  Whether you are young or old, big or small, weak or strong, I encourage you to begin making this ‘examen’ a part of your daily routine.

Examen to start your day

As you pray today’s examen, try the following exercise, using your whole body, your body gifted to you by God. You can also do this in your imagination if movement is difficult for you.

Bring your whole self into the presence of God.

Simply stand quietly, arms loosely by your sides, with the words. “Here I am, Lord”.

Now stretch up high. Watch your hands try to touch the sky like a child. “I lift up my heart to the Lord.” Give thanks for your life this week.

Slowly, very slowly, bend down low and touch your feet. Speak some words of worship to God.

Slowly, very slowly, stand straight again with your arms raised, and lean back slightly. Recall times when you have struggled or have needed forgiveness.

Bring your hands together in prayer and bow your head. Stand quietly again. Ask for God’s help for the coming days.
Finish your prayer by allowing your arms to make a joyful, wide circle. “Let the whole earth live to Your praise and glory”.

Mitakuye Oyasin

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  1. Wow! I love this exercise. I just listened to David Kaufmann’s song Make Me What You will. It kind of goes along with this exercise. Tomorrow we light the first candle of Advent. It stands for hope. I have been thinking and reading about hope today. Romans 8:24,25: “For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.” II Peter 3:13: “Nevertheless we, according to His promise look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”

  2. Thanks Gene! I’ll add to my stretching regimen. Glad you are making progress. Wishing you and family a blessed Christmas season