What is the examen?
The examen is an examination of conscience, often prayed both at noon and in the evening. The examen invites us to pay attention to the Holy Spirit’s movement in our daily lives. This form of prayer finds its roots in Jesuit spirituality because their founder, Saint Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556), describes it in his famous Spiritual Exercises.
How do I do it?
Find a comfortable position and remove distractions. Begin your time of prayer.
- Give thanks.
- Place yourself in the presence of our Lord. Thank Him for the day. What are you grateful for today?
- Ask for the Spirit.
- Ask God for the grace to be open to the Holy Spirit.
- Review the day.
- Walk through your day, reflecting on your thoughts and feelings at various points throughout the day. When did you feel close to God, and when did you feel far from God?
- Ask for forgiveness and healing.
- Where do you need to ask for forgiveness? Where did you fall short of loving God and others fully?
- Pray about tomorrow.
- What could you do differently tomorrow?
- Give thanks again.
- Proclaim your thanks and praise to the Lord. Close with an Our Father.
- The Ignatian Examen: A video about the Examen and a variety of types of Examen prayers
- Pray As You Go: Opportunities to practice the examen
- Reimagining the Examen app for Google Play and Apple
- Hallow: A review of the examen and an app available to help you pray