Lent Joy Practice 1

JOY PRACTICE 1                                         (Lent Week 1, Sun, Feb 18 – Sat, Feb 24)

REJOICING IN YOUR DAY: This reflects the Buddhist practice, Making a Dedication, and the Christian practice of The Daily Examen. You can adapt this into a prayer practice in which you are in conversation with the divine.

Reflect on the day. Before going to bed, take a few minutes to reflect on your day. Consider important experiences, conversations, emotions, and thoughts, but do not focus too much on what you did or did not do. The point is simply to note the major features of your day and to consider whether your day was in alignment with the intention you set in the morning.

Pay attention to your emotions and accept your experience. Reflect on the emotions that came up during the day. If negative thoughts or feelings arise, just be present with them. Do not try to push away the negative or grasp after the positive.  Just acknowledge what happened. If you are disappointed with some aspect of how you acted, put your hand on your heart and say, “I accept myself as I am, flawed and human like everyone else.”  Notice where you have fallen short of your intention, because that is part of what will allow you to grow and learn. If something painful happened in your day, you can gently acknowledge it by saying, “That was painful. I am not alone. We all suffer at times.”

Feel gratitude. The most important quality to have toward your day is gratitude for what you have experienced, even for what was hard and what allowed you to learn and grow. If you are keeping a journal of what you are grateful for, you may wish to write these down now.

Rejoice in your day. Pick something you did during the day that you feel good about – helping someone, keeping your cool during a conflict. If you can't think of anything, you can rejoice in the fact that you are doing this practice! Now dedicate the merit of your day and let it be a blessing to us all.

Look to tomorrow.   Finish by turning your attention to the next day and setting your intention for how you wish to face the challenges that may come. Trust that you will be able to handle whatever the next day may hold, and release your concerns for the night as you go to sleep.

For further reading or exploration:  

5 Minute EXAMEN

15 Minute EXAMEN

Rummaging for God: Praying Backward through your Day


Scriptures for reflection: 

Philippians 4:4-7

Rejoice in the Lord always;
again I will say, Rejoice.
Let your gentleness be
known to everyone. The Lord is near.

Do not worry about anything,
but in everything by prayer
and supplication with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known to God. 
And the peace of God,
which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds
 in Christ Jesus.


Habakkuk 3: 17 – 18 

Though the fig tree does not blossom,
and no fruit is on the vines;
though the produce of the olive fails, 
and the fields yield no food;
though the flock is cut off from the fold, 
and there is no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord. 



Whoever you are, wherever you are on your journey of faith, you are welcome here.