The Examen is a nightly prayer that was given to us by St Ignatius of Loyola. We can also do it at midday if you wish. Jesuits are encouraged to do it twice a day.
It is one way to become aware of the Presence of God in our daily lives. We review our day (or morning) with thanksgiving for all of the blessings we have received. We also ask God to help us see where we could have done things better.
We ask the Holy Spirit to guide us and accompany us on this review of the day. Some people also imagine Jesus sitting next to them as they go through the day.
This is always a very gentle exercise. When we have come up short – we ask Our God to give us the grace to do it better next time. We never beat-up on ourselves. Remember we are in the LOVING Presence of our God.
We can go to YouTube and find many versions of this prayer. There is an Examen prayer card at http://www.ignatianspirituality.com – or you may try the following steps:
1. Find a quiet place where you will not be distracted. Begin with the sign of the Cross and see yourself in God’s Presence. This is your meeting place with God. It could be at your desk or on your bed – in a chapel- anywhere you can spend a few minutes with your God.
2. Review your day – Give thanks for the times when you were aware of the Presence of God in every person you met – and in every situation. The times you did not become aware of God – ask for HIS pardon and the grace to see HIM next time.
3. Look at your emotions – what energized you? What drained you? What was God saying to you?
4. Pick one experience of the day and pray on and about it. See what God wanted you to learn from this. ( You may want to use a journal to track the growth of your relationship with God).
5. Look forward to tomorrow with hope. Plan your day with God. Ask Him to let you be able and willing to see Him in every Person you meet and in every situation. Most of all ask His grace to be a light and an example of Jesus To everyone you encounter.
6. End with a a short prayer like the Our Father or the Hail Mary or The Glory be. you may want to ask St. Ignatius to pray for you and end with the sign of the Cross.
This should be a short prayer and should take around five to fifteen minutes. Make it your own. Use the steps as guidelines not mandates. Remember it is a meeting with you and your God.
Please enjoy this short video on how to do the Examen.
I hope that video showed you how simple an examine is. Notice the steps are not written in stone. You may want to use google or youTube and look for other versions of the Examen and come up with a format best suited to you and your present circumstances.
Here is another video that tells about the examen from many different perspectives. It is short an I hope very informative:
So, that’s it for this week!
May we walk in the loving Presence of The Holy Trinity