The Examen

Ignatius Daily Examen, developed 400 years ago, is a genius, and challenging, method where one takes time to think and pray through a period of time (usually the past 24 hours). It is a process that raised awareness in our own hearts of how God moved.

Practicing the Examen can open us to both the difficult and beautiful in our lives, relationships and profession. The examen is also a useful way of reflecting alone or with others on what God is saying to us through a meeting, a class, a meal, a service project, a relationship or conflict.

Choose one set of questions to reflect upon each day (or as many days as you can). You can also do this practice as a week or month in review.

As you settle into the reflection take a moment to become aware of God’s presence with you. Then, review the day and ask the questions. Become aware of any emotions that are stirring within you and finally, offer a prayer (or use the blessing provided)
Where did I feel most loved? Where did I feel least loved?
For what am I most grateful? For what am I least grateful?
When did I give the most love? When did I hold back love?

For Longing
—John O’Donohue
blessed be the longing that brought you here and quickens your soul with wonder.
may you have the courage to listen to the voice of desire
that disturbs you when you have settled for something safe.
may you have the wisdom to enter generously into your own unease
to discover the new direction your longing wants you to take.
may the forms of your belonging – in love, creativity, and friendship –
be equal to the grandeur and the call of your soul.
may the one you long for long for you.
may your dreams gradually reveal the destination of your desire.
may a secret providence guide your thought and nurture your feeling.
may your mind inhabit your life with the sureness
with which your body inhabits the world.
may your heart never be haunted by ghost-structures of old damage.
may you come to accept your longing as divine urgency.
may you know the urgency with which God longs for you.