A step-by-step examen
The Examen, or Review of the Day, was a daily prayer included by St Ignatius Loyola in his Spiritual Exercises. It offers a practical help to become more attentive to God’s presence and activity in our daily life, finding God in all things, noticing the patterns of our interaction with God in our experiences.
The Examen is a good prayer for busy people – ten minutes at some point in the day – bedtime, before supper, at lunch. It’s perhaps the most important ten minutes in the whole of the day! It is asking God to show us moments of the day that God invites us to pay attention to.
- Take a few moments to recognise that you are here with the Lord, to have a few minutes quiet time together.
- Feel the warmth of God’s love as God looks upon you. Bask in that experience. God is inviting you at this moment into an ever-deeper relationship of love.
- With this loving God, think a bit about the day that has been.
- What in this day am I thankful for? What are the moments that come to mind that have been received as gift, that lead me to say “Thank you” to God.
- What in this day might I be sorry for? What are the moments of selfishness and unkindness and any other times when I did not manage to be Jesus’ hands, feet, eyes, his love, his compassion for the people around me. I say “sorry” to God.
- I ask God now to nudge me if there was something God was trying to tell me today when I wasn’t paying attention! As I look towards tomorrow, these are some of the people and events that I want to pray for.
- And finally, please help me to be more attentive to you tomorrow. Amen. Our Father…