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THE EXAMEN - Daily Prayer of Reflection in 'Finding God in All Things'

Updated: Feb 2

The Examen is a window of time for prayer, where we reflect upon how we encountered others in God in the everyday. It is a simple daily prayer, with God, who offers us gifts of transforming grace. Also called the prayer of Consciousness or the prayer of Reflection in which we take a journey into the recent past, to savor the present, and to look with hope towards the future.

A window to finding God in all things.


The Examen is a prayer of graced awareness in reflecting upon encountering God’s presence and action in our everyday: to see the day as it was through the eyes of Christ; to discern the Holy Spirit’s leading direction for us; and to respond to the Father’s loving invitation for renewal and rejoicing.

“Examen comes from the Latin word that means both an examination and an active weighing or judging something. It’s as old as Socrates instruction to “know thy self.“

Taking Notice

It’s a practice of regular self-scrutiny. Ignatius took this ancient tradition of prayer of reflection and made a way to experience God, as well as to assess our behavior.

The Examen is not a liturgical prayer, devotional prayer, intercession, or prayer with scripture. It’s not contemplation or centering prayer which is emptying our mind of images, words, or ideas. The Examen is the kind of prayer that lives in our hearts to God who does not stand apart from our lives.

Each moment offers a window into where God has been in your day. The daily examination is rather a question of asking:

How was I drawn to God today - by a friend, an event, a book, the beauty of nature?

How did I respond to God’s loving action in my life this day?

God is always present with and in us, paying detailed attention to us, waiting for us. Yet we do not consciously sense or feel His presence all the time or often notice His actions in our lives. Our soul and body - we are physically and spiritually in touch with God, always. Yet we are distracted, and at times our hearts and will are not always directed towards what are the most loving action or thoughts. God is patiently waiting for our attention, there always, desiring to help.

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. Rev 3:20

Extra Notes for the Examen

· Allow God to show you the day. Let Him bring up what He wants to show you.

· Review the section on what does consolation and desolation feel like, and Rule #2.

· Listen for the prompts within your intellect, will, and affect – those interior movements.

· You can also look at your thoughts, your feelings, and your actions through God's eyes.

· Was your head, heart and hands aligned.

· Remember not all the thoughts are your own; it's what you pay accept and move with.

· Best to do this when you are not tired.

· Depending upon if you are a night person or a morning person. Some people will do it early evening, or part of their night prayers, or part of their morning offerings.

Different Examples to Pray the Examen

St. Ignatius noted there were 5 steps to the prayer. You may find several different examples in books and especially in this app for your smartphone.


My 5 Steps

Begin in stillness and silence (and possibly solitude)

1. Thanksgiving: Express gratitude for the graces received — the gift of yourself and all of who and what you encountered this day.

2. Request: Ask God to reveal the day to you, as to see it through God’s eyes.

3. Review: Examine the day in the particulars. What happened?

4. Reflect: How did you respond? When were you more of your true self? When not?

5. Seek & Rest: Ask for guidance and insight, and hope for the future.

End this time with a simple prayer or the Our Father.