The Examen

The Examen

We are going to repeat this spiritual exercise every day. It takes about 15 minutes and consists of the following steps:

The Examen 1

I find my silence. I turn my awareness to Jesus, who is here with me. I take my time, being close to him, in his loving sight

I ask to look at my day through the eyes of Jesus. I take the events of the day, one after the other, the inner and outer experiences, as if I was watching a movie.

I give thanks. What were the gifts during this day, for which I can be grateful to God? How was God present in my life today? Where could I take part in His work today?

I ask for pardon. Which were the moments when I didn't think, speak or act in the spirit of Jesus? What have I failed to do? I ask forgiveness from the Lord, who is endlessly merciful. I ask Him to help me, so I can change, and grow in love.

I look forward to the coming day. Where is Jesus calling me? With what kind of attitude do I want to be present in the events awaiting me? I trust God's help and I ask for His strength.

The Examen 2

We are going to repeat this spiritual exercise every day. It takes about 15 minutes and consists of the following steps:

Step 1: Gratitude and God’s presence.

Make the sign of the cross and place yourself in God’s presence. Ask yourself: today, what am I grateful for? Now you can talk with God about your passing day. If this step is difficult for you, you can spend the entire time on looking for gratitude inside of you.

Thank God for these gifts.

Step 2: Asking for the light of the Holy Spirit.

Ask the Holy Spirit for His wisdom and help to recognize how God is acting in your life. Pray for the grace to look at the passing day through His eyes.

Step 3: Discovering your feelings.

Recall all the situations which triggered strong reactions in you. Get back to them and try to notice what exactly triggered them. Recall what they made you think, say or do. Don’t judge them at this point but only become aware of the connection between your feelings and the situations you experienced.

Step 4: Closer or further.

At this step look at the situations and try to evaluate them. Reflect on what you did, said, or thought in those moments. Were you drawing closer to God or further away?

Step 5: Tomorrow

Ask for God’s grace for the following day. Look toward tomorrow and ask Him for help so that tomorrow your heart will be more sensitive to experience the Holy Spirit in your life.

We end this Examen by praying the Our Father.

Header photo by Kretzer András