The Examen

 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. The Examen is an ancient practice in the Church that can help us see God’s hand at work in our whole experience.

The examen is a simple, reflective way of stilling ourselves to pray at the end of a day

Need a quiet place, and some time. There are many different ways to pray The Examen, but here it is in five, easy to remember steps:

1) Become aware of God’s presence – take some time to remember that God is present with us in our everyday lives. He has been near to you and with you throughout the events of your day.

2) Invite the Holy Spirit – review the day with gratitude – what are you thankful for? What were the gifts of the day? What did you receive from others? What did you give to others? How has God been at work? Where was He in conversation, in the actions of others, in the events of the day, in nature? Was He speaking?

3) Pay attention to your emotions – St. Ignatius emphasised how our emotions can point to the presence of God. Reflect upon how you felt throughout your day. What might God be saying to you through these emotions? Perhaps there’s an area where you need to seek forgiveness. Maybe you were frustrated by an unwanted interruption or responded in anger? Perhaps you resisted God’s nudging to offer someone help. Is there a way you could reach out to that person today?

4) Choose one thing from the day and pray for it – maybe there’s something that particularly stands out to you? It may be a conversation, an event or an emotion.

Respond to it in prayer.

5) Look forward to tomorrow – how do you want to live differently? How can you become more aware of God’s presence?