Søren Kierkegaard, the Danish philosopher is noted to have said, “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” There is so much truth in his words as we hardly make sense of life in the spur of the moments that constitute it. Mindful of this truth, there are exercises and activities at the College designed to help staff and students look back at their lived experiences in order to better understand them and consequently chart the right course for themselves in life. Below are exercises and activities of the College that help members of the College Community keep a tab on their life:
The Daily Examen is a technique of prayerful reflection on the events of the day in order to detect God’s presence and discern his direction for us. It is a good “tracker” prayer that helps members of the College Community keep up with themselves and remain aware of how they are moving through the day. In praying the Examen, we practice the simple five-steps provided by St. Ignatius:
1. Ask God for light: We look at part of our day with God’s eyes, not merely our own.
2. Give thanks: We express our gratitude to God for the hours of the day we have lived.
3. Review the day: We carefully look back on part of the day, guided by the Spirit.
4. Face your shortcomings: We face up to what is wrong – in our life and in us.
5. Look toward the day to come: We ask where we need God in the hours of the day to come.
To help our students attain the profile of the graduate of a Jesuit high school at graduation (Grad at Grad), Class Recollections are organized annually on designated Saturdays from after breakfast to lunchtime. This religious activity affords students the opportunity to evaluate their cultivation of qualities most desirable for adult life summed up under the following five categories: Open to Growth, Intellectually Competent, Religious, Loving, and Committed to Doing Justice. Equipped with these qualities, students at graduation are ready to venture into the world leading a fruitful and meaningful life as men and women for and with others.
As a spiritual activity, Meditation serves to help students grow in self-knowledge crucial for leading meaningful and fulfilled life. They spend half an hour before the celebration of the Holy Mass on Saturday mornings in deep thoughts about their lives, hopes, aspiration, joys and sorrows using their imaginations. Saint Ignatius believed that God could speak to us just as clearly in our imagination as through our thoughts and our memories revealing God’s self to us, His will for us as well as the purpose of our lives. Sometimes the meditation is guided in which case students are invited to focus on a particular theme, such as gratitude, love, generosity, service, humility, honesty, etc. evaluating themselves in light of them.