The Daily Examen – an Ignatian Spiritual Tool

The Daily Examen is a technique of prayerful reflection on the events of the day in order to detect God’s presence and discern his direction for us. The Examen is an ancient practice that can help us see God’s hand at work in our lives. The Examen is described by Ignatius Loyola in his Spiritual Exercises. St. Ignatius thought that the Examen was a gift that came directly from God, and that God wanted it to be shared as widely as possible. One of the few rules of prayer that Ignatius made for the Jesuit order was the requirement that Jesuits practice the Examen twice daily—at noon and at the end of the day.

In its simplest form, the Examen can be described in 5 basic steps:

1. Become aware of God’s presence in your day and life.
2. Review the day with gratitude to God for all that the day contained.
3. Pay attention to your emotions and feelings that come from that review
4. Choose one feature of the day and pray based on it.
5. Look toward to tomorrow, and ask God for guidance in that new day.

In addition, there are many variations of the Examen that can be used as part of ones daily prayer life. Some of these variations may be found at this link  –  Ignatian Sprituality Website  – Examen Variations.

In addition,  information on The Spiritual Exercises may found at this link – The Spiritual Exercises of St.Ignatius.