Daily Examen

The Daily Examen is a technique of prayerful reflection on the events of the day in order to see God’s presence and power, and to discern His direction for us. It is adapted from the technique described by St. Ignatius Loyola in his book Spiritual Exercises.
 
It is, above all, a prayer exercise and then it is an awareness exercise. It is both a tool and a practice to connect intimately with the God who loves us and who is with us. So, even as you are doing the work of examination and awareness, you should do it with the sense of prayerfulness.
The Examen has seven steps:

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ONE: Awareness

Spend a couple of minutes in quietness to be present with God. This is really the preparation for Examen.

TWO: Gratitude

Becoming aware of what you have received during the day that was God’s gift to you. And being thankful for those gifts.

THREE: Desire

Asking God for what you deeply desire.

FOUR: Review the Day

This is at the heart of the Examen and can be practiced in different ways. This is when you walk through your day, remembering both the experiences of the day and your responses to the day (your inner responses and your external responses).

Pay attention to where God was at work and speaking but you did not notice “in the moment”…

FIVE: Forgiveness

Asking for grace and forgiveness as you repent of the faults and sins discerned and seek healing concerning those things.

SIX: Amending and Anticipating

This is the action step of prayerful commitment to move forward, and looking ahead to the next day:

  • How will I live differently by God’s grace?
  • What will God’s grace have for me in the day to come?

SEVEN: Rest

A final moment of rest and awareness of how God has been with you in the time of Examen.

Notes:
Awareness / quietness:
  • Position your body so that you can be comfortable and alert for the Examen. To help you be still focusing on your breathing can be helpful. It also may be helpful to repeat a word like Jesus or Father.
 
Repentance:
  • The Biblical word for repentance is “metanoia” (μετάνοια), it literally means “a transformative change of heart”.
  • Repentance in the context of discipleship is to recognise that you have been going in the wrong direction, away from God, and you are now turning back to God.
  • Repentance is a wonderful gift of God’s grace to us. It’s an ongoing invitation to turn our hearts and minds to God.
 
Grace: What is God’s grace?
  • “Grace is God acting in our life to do what we cannot do on our own.” Willard
  • The spiritual practice of Daily Examen helps us to recognize God’s action in our lives, which is grace.
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