Ignatius of Loyola developed the Daily Examen as a way to prayerfully reflect on the events of each day. He believed that those who made the Examen a regular part of their lives would be better able to detect God’s presence and discern God's direction for themselves. The Examen has been practiced for centuries in the church.
The method shown below is adapted Ignatius' book Spiritual Exercises. It is a five step process and can be done in as short or long a period of time as one wants to devote to it. Those who journal may also find it helpful to write about their thoughts, prayers and experiences afterwards.
- Spend a moment or two centering yourself and calming your body and mind. As you do this, try to become aware of God’s presence with you.
- Take a few minutes reviewing the day with an attitude of thankfulness.
- Pay particular attention to your emotions during this review. What brought you joy, sorrow, anxiety, peace, etc. . .
- Choose one event from your day and pray about it.
- Think about your tomorrow, the things you have planned or want to accomplish. Lift up the day to God in prayer and ask that God's Spirit be with you throughout the day.
The Daily Examen is a simple spiritual exercise that can bring you closer to God and to God's will for your life. I hope you will try it and possibly make it a part of your spiritual practices.