This daily practice was written about extensively by St. Ignatius in 1522. Various forms of this daily review have been used by the saints of God for hundreds of years. As part of his writings from the Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius designed the Examen to be a daily review of thoughts, motivations, and actions. This prayerful reflection on the events of your day will help you detect God’s presence and discern His direction for your life. It consists of five points of prayer and thoughtfulness:
- Gratitude: Give thanks to God for the good things this day has brought. Gratitude is such an important part of our relationship with God. It is His desire for His children to be thankful. Take time to express thanks for all the good, meaningful, or pleasant things that happened today. Think about as many good things as you can and thank God for them.
- Illumination: Ask the Holy Spirit for Guidance and Insight. The Holy Spirit is our guide and comforter. He can illuminate things that we may have forgotten or want to deny. Ask Him to help you see the truth about the day.
- Examination: Review the Past 24-hours. Thoroughly examine the events that come to mind, good and bad. Question your reactions and responses. Did you ignore the Holy Spirit’s prompting? Did you hurt anyone? Were you untruthful? Were you thankful? Were there blessings you didn’t notice?
- Confession: If you feel the conviction of the Holy Spirt be quick to confess your sin to God and receive His forgiveness. Rejoice that you are saved by His grace and not your own performance.
- Anticipation/Seeking Change. Ask for God’s grace and help to live out the things he has called you to do. Consider what it looks like for God to be with you as an ever present help in times of need so that you are never to face any difficulties on your own.