The Daily Examen
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☇ The Daily Examen
St. Ignatius Loyola included in his Spiritual Exercises a prayer called "the Examen," which derives from the Latin word for examination. It is a meditation with roots not only in Ignatian spirituality, but also in the spiritual practices of the ancient Stoics.
There are many versions of the Examen today, but all have five steps. Here is a simple rendering of some key elements:
1. Place yourself in God's presence. Give thanks for God's great love for you.
2. Pray for the grace to understand how God is acting in your life.
3. Review your day — recall specific moments and your feelings at the time.
4. Reflect on what you did, said, or thought in those instances. Were you drawing closer to God, or further away?
5. Look toward tomorrow — think of how you might collaborate more effectively with God's plan. Be specific and conclude with the "Our Father."
Some versions of the Examen place a special emphasis on gratitude and feelings. A detailed example of such a meditation is offered