In one of my courses this semester, we've been asked to pray the Examen prayer of St. Ignatius for a few days, then provide a little discussion board post about our reaction to it.
Well, as many of you know, this was an easy exercise for me. I've been praying with the Examen on a daily basis for several years, and it's helped me immensely on my spiritual journey. I know it can be the same for you.
Meant to be prayed daily, the Examen can be done at a time that works best for you. Some people choose morning, others mid-day, and more than a few do it before they go to bed. I personally like the early morning, while it's quiet and I can meditatively think about the previous day, then looking forward to the day to come. If you've never prayed this simple prayer, I hope you'll give it a try. Spend a week trying out different times, then settle in on one that seems to work best.
There are five parts to the Examen, and generally, it takes 10-15 minutes to pray through it. Sometimes it will be less, other times longer. Just go where the Spirit leads you. If you have an interesting experience to share, please send a reply. I'd love to hear about it.
- Find a quiet place. Remember that you are in the holy presence of God.
- Give thanks. Name one moment from your day for which you are grateful.
- Review the day. In your imagination, retrace the steps of your day -what you did, whom you encountered, thoughts and feelings you experienced.
- Talk with God. Tell God the things you feel good about and those you regret.
- Look forward to the day to come. Ask God to help you be your best self as you look forward to the day to come.
The particular Examen above comes from Loyola Press. If you want to learn more about the Examen and other forms of Ignatian prayer, visit their website.