Goodnight, Jesus

August 22, 2019

Most of us have an evening routine that we go through as we prepare for going to bed. For me, I watch a little no brainer television, floss my teeth, use the toilet, and rinse my mouth with “mouth wash” before I swallow it. I use a C-PAP, so I add water to the reservoir, put it on my face, tell my wife I love her, and fall asleep. What did I leave out? Prayer. I pray before falling asleep.

The meditation from “The Word Among Us” on August 19 mentions a prayer routine proposed by St. Ignatius of Loyola called the “Daily Examen”. The author writes that the first step in this prayer is thanking God for the days blessings as you recall them. A second step is to ask the Holy Spirit for an awareness of where God was at work in your life that day. The next step is to review the happenings of the past day to become aware of how God was speaking to you through the people you encountered and circumstance of the day. A fourth step was to notice when you felt closest to God, as with a beautiful sunset or encounter with someone you love. The fifth step is to briefly look ahead to the next day, giving it to God and being open to however he wishes to be with you tomorrow.

A good priest friend often recommended saying an act of contrition, praying to God for forgiveness of any sins committed in the day and promising to do better tomorrow. Then pray for those people you love before falling asleep. If you have difficulty falling asleep you might try repeating a soothing Bible verse such as, “Love is gentle. Love is kind.” Or “The Lord is my shepherd.” Or “Do not be afraid. I am always with you.”
Developing a prayer routine at bedtime can help you to feel closer to God as well as prepare you for a peaceful and restful sleep. If you wake in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep, repetitive prayer such as the rosary may be a great help. “Goodnight, Jesus.”

“May the Lord bless and keep you. May he let his face shine upon you and give you his peace.”

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