Like many stepped in the Ignatian tradition, my daily prayer includes an Examen, a means of prayerful reflection on the events of the day to detect God’s presence.
I don’t know if George Eliot prayed the Examen, but her poem, Count That Day Lost offers a simple examination of our day.
If you sit down at set of sun
And count the acts that you have done,
And, counting, find
One self-denying deed, one word
That eased the heart of him who heard,
One glance most kind
That fell like sunshine where it went —
Then you may count that day well spent.
But if, through all the livelong day,
You’ve cheered no heart, by yea or nay —
If, through it all
You’ve nothing done that you can trace
That brought the sunshine to one face —
No act most small
That helped some soul and nothing cost —
Then count that day as worse than lost.
I pray we may all sit down at the end of today and count the day well spent.
What a wonderful poem!! And wouldn’t you just know it. George Eliot was a pen name – a woman named Mary Ann Evans (or Marian Evans)