“If we do not know what happens in our heart … we are like ‘animals that understand nothing,’ that move along through instinct (cf. Jude 1:10). But we are not animals, we are children of God, baptized with the gift of the Holy Spirit. For this reason, it is important to understand what has happened each day in my heart.”
—Pope Francis, encouraging the practice of a daily examen (morning meditation for September 4, 2018)
By the end of his life, St. Ignatius of Loyola could say of himself, “Whenever he wished, at whatever hour, he could find God.”
This sensitivity to God’s presence didn’t just happen. Instead, it was the fruit of his daily practice of prayerfully examining his thoughts, feelings, words, and actions under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Fortunately for the rest of us, St. Ignatius taught this method of prayer to the members of the religious order he founded, the Society of Jesus (“the Jesuits”); he thought it was so important to their spiritual life, he required them to pray it twice a day.
Over the centuries, millions of ordinary Christians have made the Ignatian Examen—also known as the Daily Examen—a regular part of their prayer life. Like St. Ignatius and like Pope Francis, they have found it to be a powerful aid to spiritual growth.
Now, The Daily Examen Journal: A 30-Day Spiritual Retreat offers a way to practice the Ignatian Examen in a beautiful journal format. The practice of journaling the Examen has its roots with St. Ignatius himself; he kept a treasured notebook of his spiritual insights, and encouraged his Jesuits to keep a simple written record of their spiritual progress from day to day.
The Daily Examen Journal includes:
- a thorough introduction to the spirit and practice of the Ignatian Examen;
- 30 step-by-step guided journal entries;
- a different inspirational prayer from the saints or the book of Psalms for each day’s entry;
- beautiful black-and-white hand-drawn art.
The Daily Examen Journal is a helpful aid to anyone who wants a more focused, guided experience of the Daily Examen…and, when it is finished, a written record of his or her spiritual journey.