MISSION AND MINISTRY | St. Ignatius believed that there was no greater sin than ingratitude; ingratitude, he once wrote, “is a forgetting of the gracious benefits of blessings received.” There are two participation acts that we are asking of all of you this week: the Day of Giving and the institutional Examen.
Day of Giving is a time to reflect on what we are thankful for and to give back in a positive way. Gratitude is an essential element of the spirituality that St. Ignatius passed along through his Spiritual Exercises and especially through what’s known as the Examen. This simple prayer invites us to reflect on our day to identify graces received and opportunities for drawing closer to God and recognizing God’s love for us. The prayer itself can be — and has been — adapted in a variety of ways to suit individual circumstances, including the needs of non-Christians, but a fundamental step always involves reviewing the day with gratitude. Taking time to spot the graced moments in our day enables us to see more clearly where God has been walking with us on our journey through this life and has been cheering us on. (Check out this popular and moving video from Brother David Steindl-Rast, a Benedictine monk and an advocate of spirituality grounded in gratefulness, to learn how to get in touch with gratitude in your daily life.)
The Day of Giving challenge gives us an opportunity to contribute in a material way. If you would like, you can donate directly to a mission-related campus group, such as Center for Service in Action, Campus Ministry, the Academy of Catholic Thought and Imagination, or any of the student service organizations. To donate and raise the participation totals, go here.
This Thanksgiving season, LMU is engaged in prayerful reflection on the many gifts we as a university community of students, faculty, staff, and alumni have received from God as we participate in an institutional Mission Priority Examen. At the request of the Society of Jesus and the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, we are invited to pray about our mission and to commit to a set of priorities for faithfully and creatively promoting our Catholic, Jesuit, and Marymount identity and values in the years to come. A steering committee of faculty and staff has begun the work of this reflection and now wishes to invite the community to join this conversation by participating in group interviews during November and December.
You can learn more about this institutional Examen on mission and the group interview process at mission.lmu.edu/missionpriorityexamen. To sign up to participate in a group interview, go to mission.lmu.edu/missionpriorityexamen/rsvpforopensessions/. The greater the number and diversity of voices participating in this exercise, the more meaningful our mission priorities for the future will be, so please consider taking an hour to share your insights into LMU’s mission as part of your Thanksgiving observance this year.