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November 22, 2023 — This week in the United States, we celebrate Thanksgiving. It’s a holiday in which we’re invited to cultivate a disposition of gratitude. What are we thankful for? Who are we thankful for? How can we be gifts to others?

Gratitude is a foundational disposition in Ignatian spirituality. Ignatius wanted us to know that our God is a giver of good gifts, a God who delights in us for the gift that we already are—and for the giftedness we have yet to share with the world. From that place, that spiritual sense of self, we go out to do God’s good work.

Today’s guest is Jesuit priest Mark Thibodeaux. He’s the pastor of Holy Name of Jesus Parish in New Orleans and a prolific writer on all things Ignatian. He’s something of an expert on that foundational Ignatian prayer of gratitude: the examen. Fr. Thibodeaux has been praying the examen for a long time, and today we talk about how and why the examen is such a versatile prayer. There are examens to ferret out racism and examens to combat climate change and examens to help us better understand the mission of our Jesuit institutions.

But at the end of the day, the examen is about gratitude. Without it, everything goes south. So, today, we talk about prayer, spirituality and gratitude.

Check out our compilation of examen prayers.

AMDG is a production of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States.

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