The Daily Examen is a powerful spiritual practice based on the spirituality of St. Ignatius of Loyola that can greatly enhance your daily life. It is a form of prayer that helps you become more aware of God's presence in your everyday experiences. By taking the time to reflect on your day, you can gain a deeper understanding of yourself, your emotions, and your relationship with God.
Praying the Daily Examen is essential for anyone seeking to grow spiritually and cultivate a closer connection with God. It allows you to pause and reflect on the events, interactions, and emotions of your day, helping you to recognize God's presence and guidance in your life.
When praying in this way, it is important to find a quiet place to pray where you won't be interrupted. Being comfortable is also helpful. Journaling through this prayer is also useful, as you might want to go back later and see how God has been moving you gently in one direction or another.
This article describes the steps in the traditional Examen, but this prayer can also be adjusted to focus on a specific area, such as how to look at my life in terms of my strengths and weaknesses. Or the Examen can be used to seek a way to heal a difficult relationship. Seasonal versions of the Examen can also be found, such as a Lenten Examen or an Easter Examen.
By incorporating the Daily Examen into your daily routine, you can develop a habit of gratitude, self-awareness, and spiritual growth. So, let's dive in and discover the transformative power of the Daily Examen.
Why Pray the Examen?
Praying the Examen offers numerous benefits that can greatly enhance your spiritual life and overall well-being. By engaging in this practice, you can experience a deeper connection with God and gain valuable insights into your daily experiences.
One of the key benefits of praying the Examen is the cultivation of gratitude. As you review your day, you become more aware of the blessings and gifts that God has bestowed upon you. This practice helps you develop a habit of gratitude, which can lead to a more positive outlook and increased contentment in life.
Additionally, the Examen allows you to become more self-aware. By reflecting on your thoughts, actions, and emotions throughout the day, you gain a better understanding of yourself and your patterns of behavior. This self-awareness can lead to personal growth and transformation as you identify areas for improvement and make conscious choices aligned with your values.
Praying the Examen also helps you recognize God's presence in your daily life. As you become more attuned to the moments of grace and guidance, you develop a deeper trust in God's providence and a heightened awareness of His love and care for you.
Overall, the Examen is a powerful tool for spiritual growth, self-reflection, and deepening your relationship with God. It offers a way to integrate prayer into your daily routine and invites you to live with greater intention and mindfulness.
How to Pray the Daily Examen
Start by becoming aware of God's presence.
Start with the Sign of the Cross and remember you are in the presence of your Creator. Slow your breathing. Quiet your mind. Invite the Holy Spirit to join you. Enjoy this moment.
Review Your Day with Gratitude
Think about your day, starting at the beginning. Notice anything which you enjoyed. Linger in those moments and appreciate them. Express your gratitude to God for these blessings.
Nothing is too small to notice. Perhaps you had the chance to say hello to someone you haven't seen recently. Or you enjoyed a nice cup of tea. Maybe the sunshine on your face felt good. All of these things are gifts from God.
Be Aware of Your Emotions
Notice your feelings as you remember your day. If something evokes a strong response, good or bad, make a note of it as you step through your memories. God made you as a creature with emotions and He speaks to you through these. A strong reaction might be God prompting you to take further action in that area of your life.
Choose One Part of the Day and Pray into It
Pick one experience from your day which stands out. This will often be one of the things which evoked a strong response. Pray into this moment. Ask God what He is trying to tell you. Is He asking you to take action? Maybe you should pick up the phone and call someone. Perhaps you need to learn to be patient and wait.
This is the part where "daily" comes in. If you are finding a pattern in what you are focusing on each day, then then God might be telling you that this area of your life needs some attention. You might need to offer a prayer of repentance or intercession for a friend. Or you might need to just be grateful and aware of how blessed you are.
Look Forward to Tomorrow
Think about tomorrow. If there is something you anticipate being challenging, ask God to accompany you when that moment arrives. If you have been moved by your prayer to do something different in your life, pray that God gives you the strength to do that. If you feel moved to, then make a specific resolution.
Conclude your prayer with the Sign of the Cross. It might also be appropriate to say the Our Father or another prayer.
Printable Copy of this Prayer
This lesson plan aims to teach youth about the importance of actively listening to God and how distractions can impede this process. Through an opening game called Shepherd’s Voice, scripture reading from John 10:27-30, and discussion, participants are encouraged to identify and overcome these distractions. The lesson incorporates the Examen, a form of prayer, as a practical tool for focusing attention on God's voice. Various activities and pauses for reflection are included to engage participants in identifying emotional triggers and planning actionable steps to improve their spiritual lives.
Praying the Daily Examen is a way to pause from our busy lives and seek God's presence. We look at the day, try to discern what is good, and seek to correct that which is not. The Examen is a powerful tool for self-reflection and spiritual growth. It helps us to become more aware of God's presence in our daily lives and to cultivate a grateful heart.
Through the practice of the Examen, we learn to recognize the blessings and graces that God has bestowed upon us throughout the day. We become more attuned to the small moments of joy, the acts of kindness, and the opportunities for growth. By reviewing our day with gratitude, we develop a deeper appreciation for the goodness that surrounds us.
The Examen also invites us to be aware of our emotions. It encourages us to acknowledge and name our feelings, whether they are positive or negative. This awareness allows us to bring our emotions before God, seeking His guidance and healing. It helps us to process our experiences and to find peace in the midst of turmoil.
As we conclude our prayer, we can look forward to tomorrow with hope and trust in God's providence. We can offer our intentions and concerns to Him, knowing that He is with us every step of the way. The Examen reminds us that prayer is not just a one-time event, but a continuous conversation with God that shapes our lives.
In conclusion, the Daily Examen is a transformative practice that deepens our relationship with God and helps us to live more intentionally. It invites us to be present, grateful, and open to God's guidance. Through this prayer, we can experience spiritual growth, find peace in our hearts, and draw closer to the divine presence in our lives.