At the end of his life, St. Ignatius of Loyola wrote in his Autobiography that “whenever he wished, at whatever hour, he could find God.”
This spiritual richness didn’t just happen; instead, it was the fruit of his lifelong practice of the Daily Examen, a spiritual exercise he developed and taught to the members of the religious order he founded, the Society of Jesus (“the Jesuits”).
What Is the Examen?
As its Latin name suggests, the examen prayer is a spiritual self-examination, the purpose of which is to become more conscious of the movement of God in the everyday events of our lives. We examine our own feelings, thoughts, words, and actions in each part of the day, asking: “Where was God in this moment? Where was I?” Over time, this daily self-examination leads us to be closer to God in every moment of every day.
Although Jesuits are required to pray the Examen twice a day, most lay people pray it once a day, usually in the evening. Allow about fifteen minutes to do the Examen well.
The Six Movements of the Examen
Here is a quick look at the six movements of the Examen prayer, keeping in mind that prayer is a conversation between God and an individual person, which means it is always unique; adapt this format as the Spirit moves you.
Publisher: Gracewatch Media
Format: PDF Digital Download
Publication date: April 9, 2020