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NotreDame

Examination Of Conscience: B-a-k-e-r

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NotreDame

I knew a group that used the BAKER approach to their daily examination of conscience.  They explained it to me, but afterwards I could only remember the acronym, not what it stood for.  For some reason when I looked for it last year nothing showed up on google. 

 

I'm the kind of person that likes to have a process to reference when doing something so yesterday I decided that I really wanted to take the daily examination of conscience more seriously and turned to Google hoping I could turn something up. 

 

This time Google came through, so I thought I'd share the method here.  If anyone has their own approach they'd like to share, I'd be interested as well.

 

From this site here:

 

The following is a summary of the Examen as presented by Father Gaitley, MIC. The examen should be made sometime toward the end of the day.  Most people make it shortly before going to bed.
 

We should first put ourselves in the presence of God.  For instance, one could devoutly make the Sign of the Cross.
 

Next, remember the word 'baker' (B-A-K-E-R).
 

B stands for 'blessings'.  According to St. Ignatius, this is the most important of the five points.  Think of the many blessings God has given you throughout the day and then praise and thank him for these blessings.  We shouldn't forget to thank God for the crosses of the day, which are also blessings.  (Eventually, we'll develop a continual attitude of gratitude, where one's praises and thanks will flow all day long, instead of solely at night during the Examen.)
 

A stands for 'Ask'.  Ask the Holy Spirit to help us recognize our sinfulness.
 

K stands for 'Kill'.  Because it was our sins that killed and crucified Jesus.  We look at our sinfullness (weaknesses and attachments, too).  We also look for the valleys, which Ignatius calls 'desolation.'  We pay attention to those times during our day when our hearts dropped (e.g., someone else's sin, someone said unkind words to us).  Did we forgive them?  Did we accept the traffic jam on our way home as a small sharing in the Cross?  We should have been more peaceful about it and offered it up as a prayer for others.
 

E stands for 'Embrace'.  This is to allow Jesus to embrace us, sinners, that we are, with the rays of his merciful love.  It may be helpful to think of the Image of Divine Mercy. One could think of Jesus' words that it rests His Heart to forgive and that when I go to Him with sinfulness, I give him the joy of being my Savior.  (This point was also supported by St. Faustina [see previous blog posting.)
 

R stands for 'Resolution'.  We take what we've learned from the previous points and look ahead to the next day, ready to make resolutions.

 

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NotreDame

That's not a bad link.  Thanks!   It's the same five steps in BAKER but explained a little differently.  Fr. Gallagher has a whole book on this and I've listened to some of the associated podcasts too, but I don't remember them sticking with me. 

 

I need a process for mental prayer, otherwise I never get into a routine and I won't follow it every day.  Even with BAKER I keep forgetting the ER :hehe2:, but I remember the BAK pretty well and have been consistent with it.  I need to find something similar for the mornings. 

Edited by NotreDame

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cmaD2006

Heh.  I am not that great at the examen either.  I *hated* the idea of it until it kind of grew on me during the 30 day.

 

I *do* try to (albeit somewhat unsuccessfully) to do it on a daily basis, and, well -- I'm not doing too well on the particular examen actually.

 

I have read Fr. Gallagher's book on it and listened to the CDs, but I had a heck of a time with the examen, period.  It may just be the nature of the beast.

 

Right now my examen really is just B and K ... but I just think about it as "what am I thankful for" and "what am I sorry for".  Occasionally I will set up a resolution, but for now I'm simply trying to create a habit of doing it.  Then I can aim for more :).

 

I also don't spend long at all on it -- it is really a quick minute or two.  It doesn't take much effort to come up with what I'm thankful for nor what I'm sorry for.  I probably should spend a bit more time in the "Ask" part, and the "Ask" part really should be 1st because it may be a struggle to even *see* the blessings in life (I sure used to have a hard time with the "thankful" part).

 

BTW -- Fr. Gallagher's book does not really cover the particular examen.  I think he mentioned it once.  The particular examen is precisely that -- you're working on a particular sin/habit that needs to change and the particular examen is set to look at just that throughout the day, and to help "switch directions" in a timely manner.  Honestly -- I hate it (lol because you "force yourself" to look at that particular problem more often).  That's probably why I avoid it (although I should be doing it).

 

Ah.  Change.  Litte by little ... still progress.

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NotreDame

I've put the BAKER on my google calendar, so I get an email with the steps every night at 9pm and I can work off of that.  I only spend a few minutes, but I think that's enough if I do it regularly and put effort into it.

 

The "B" (blessings) are easy for me to do at the moment, I just try to be thankful for any little thing in the day.  The "K" (kill the sin) varies depending on the day, sometimes it's obvious, sometimes it's not.   At the beginning, after putting ourselves in the presence of God (always the recommended first step for meditaton) maybe you are right, that asking for grace before getting to the B or K makes more sense. 

 

I haven't figured out the "E" yet, but the "R" (resolution) is not always so much resolutions for me, but it's where I look at the next day for things that might be stressful or difficult and try to mentally prepare a bit. 

 

I need something structured like this for the morning too. 

 

 

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Tab'le De'Bah-Rye

Is the examination of concience only for sin?  I suggest if you don't understand all this and find it to hard and can't do the baker just simply do a sign of the cross pray an our father and sit there and think for however long, sometimes you will get 15 minutes sometimes you will get an hour and plainy Just think about whatever. That would be a good start, and than perhaps you could advance to a theological examination of the conscience an examination of concience in regards to sin, perahps though the begginers examination of concience is simply to think about the 7 deadly sins and the 10 sommandments, go through each one individualy, it should only take 15 minutes but if even that is to much Just set aside time to simply think about life. Get your mind warmed up first for beginners. Reminds me though i have to go immediatly, confession is on. I have been a road rager and need absolution before it gets worse. :)

Edited by Tab'le De'Bah-Rye

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cmaD2006

Tab:

 

We're talking the Ignatian version of the Examen.  It is a 5-10 minute thing (max).  It focuses on the good and the bad (not just sin, but on the blessings bestowed by God throughout the day).

 

It is literally going through the day and seeing where God was present (the blessings) and where maybe God wasn't (i.e. you acted in a way that you should not have, i.e. sin).

 

It is *not* a preparation for confession.  But doing a daily examen kind of makes the prep for confession easy (you kind of know what to confess already).

Edited by cmaD2006

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NotreDame

Tab,

 

There are some free podcasts on the subject here:

 

http://www.discerninghearts.com/?page_id=7533

 

It's good for all of us to integrate into our lives once a day, but it's pretty much a requirement for people in religious life to do at least once daily. 

 

The BAKER method was recommended to me by a religious order and I only recently re-found it on google.  I like it because I can remember the steps easily.  Fr Gallagher really takes it to the next level in his podcasts though.

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BarbaraTherese

Thank you, ND - all in my Favourites.  The Baker Method is new to me and certainly easy to remember - and I have listened to half of the first podcast in your link above and it sounds interesting, something that appeals.

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Tab'le De'Bah-Rye

aha ok just read the title again and missed the B-A-K-E-R bit at the end, my apologies.

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BarbaraTherese

Another thank you for the BAKER method, ND. :)  I have been searching for a not too lengthy Examen method for a while - and the BAKER method really appeals and is easy to commit to my lousy memory.  My printer is out of ink for a while and so I have written out the method by hand.  Thanks again!   :) :) :)

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cmaD2006

Ok I feel silly silly ....

 

The BAKER method is described in Fr. Gaitley's Consoling the Heart of Jesus.  Conclusion chapter.  Pgs 178-182.  He suggests in the conclusion chapter a three-part schedule of prayer (morning offering, 3 o'clock hour, examination of conscience/BAKER).

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NotreDame

Ok I feel silly silly ....

 

The BAKER method is described in Fr. Gaitley's Consoling the Heart of Jesus.  Conclusion chapter.  Pgs 178-182.  He suggests in the conclusion chapter a three-part schedule of prayer (morning offering, 3 o'clock hour, examination of conscience/BAKER).

 

Why do you feel silly?

 

That makes sense though.  I learned it from the Marions.

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cmaD2006

... because the book was sitting on a shelf.  I haven't read through it 100% and just browsed it and saw "BAKER".  They also use "AIR" (Awareness, Identify, Respond -- which I heard in a class but Fr. Gallagher doesn't use that acronym).

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NotreDame

... because the book was sitting on a shelf.  I haven't read through it 100% and just browsed it and saw "BAKER".  They also use "AIR" (Awareness, Identify, Respond -- which I heard in a class but Fr. Gallagher doesn't use that acronym).

 

Who uses "AIR"?  Is it in that book too?  It sounds familiar, like from Fr Gallaghers first book on discernment.
 

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