The Examen

Try a practice of this prayerful review of your day before going to bed each night by following the five steps below:

1 Stillness: Bring yourself to God’s Presence

Relax in God’s presence in your favourite prayer place and posture. Remember God’s promises to be with us always and in all places.

2 Gratitude: Express Thankfulness

Review your day and give thanks to God for the gifts you were offered. Try not to choose what to be thankful for but rather to see what springs to mind as you reflect. Think of the concrete details of your day. Recall the gifts that God has given you that you can share with others. Spend some time letting your memories of those gifts fill you with gratitude and then offer it to God.

3 Reflection: Look Back on Your Day

Ask the Holy Spirit to come into your heart and to help you to look honestly at your actions this day and how you have responded in different situations. With the Spirit’s inspiration you can recognize what draws you close to God as well as what pulls you away from God.

Review the events of the day and notice how you acted in the many situations in which you found yourself. Recall your feelings and motives to see whether you considered all of the possibilities and if you invited God to share them with you.

Ask yourself when you were conscious of God’s presence. Think about opportunities you had to draw near in faith to God or someone else. When we think about why we did or did not take advantage of these opportunities, we can become aware of how we might change our actions in the future.

4 Face it: Ask for and receive Forgiveness

After you have asked for the Spirit’s guidance in recalling and reflecting on the actions of your day, try and allow God to hold you in this reflective space. Express sorrow for the times you pulled away from God and receive God’s forgiveness. Give thanks to Christ for the grace that enables you to draw near in faith. Acknowledge any sorrow or gratitude or any other feeling in your heart knowing that God feels with you.

5 Hopefulness: Resolve to Grow

Ask God to help you as you look forward to a new day tomorrow. Resolve to cooperate and trust in the loving guidance of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Conclude the day’s prayerful review with the Lord’s Prayer.

The Examen