Stop-Sign Examen

It’s traditional to undertake the Examen in the middle of the day and just before bed, but for the last few weeks, I’ve found myself starting the day with a version of this reflective prayer. It starts as I watch yet another car blow through the stop sign at the edge of the neighborhood. Sometimes I honk; sometimes I sigh. Always, I am aware of God’s presence and grateful—as one should be at the start […]

Dare to Look Inside Yourself

Fr. Michael Sparough, SJ, suggests the Examen as a tool to help us in daring to look inside ourselves. In explaining the steps of this foundational Ignatian prayer, Fr. Sparough tells us to pray from one or two dominant emotions: Those are the feelings that you especially want to pay attention to—those that are shouting at us and then those that are cowering, that say, “Don’t look at me.” Those are the ones we want […]

Not in Control

This post is based on Week Three of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure. Recently I used one of the versions of the Examen found in Fr. Mark Thibodeaux’s book Reimagining the Ignatian Examen for my daily prayer. This particular Examen (Saving F.A.C.E.) invited me to take a close look at four things: My fears My attachments My need for control Illusions of entitlement It nudged me to take an honest assessment of my last few weeks […]

The Examen Curbs Anxiety

J. Michael Sparough, SJ, writes that “Cardinal Bernardin, the late, much-loved Archbishop of Chicago, once told a group of us priests that he was a chronic worrier. But he found that using the Ignatian Examen was of great benefit to him in curbing his anxiety.” Many others have also found the benefits of praying the daily Examen. If you’re praying through An Ignatian Prayer Adventure, this week invites you to reflect on the steps of […]

Social Media Examen

Have you ever found yourself using social media, wondering: Why do I hesitate to read comments on a news article? Why am I stuck wondering what sparked someone’s Facebook discussion? Why do I linger on infuriating Tweets? Why do I walk away from social media at times, feeling exhausted, angry, or less myself? Is this even good for me? Jesuit Post contributors Ken Homan, SJ, and Colten Biro, SJ, have asked those questions and suggest […]

Puzzle Pieces and the Examen

Below is the text from the video, an excerpt from my new book, Busy Lives & Restless Souls: How Prayer Can Help You Find the Missing Peace in Your Life. Learn more about the book here. So, what is the Examen? In a nutshell, it is a method of prayer that you normally complete at the end of your day—it takes about ten to fifteen minutes—that involves praying about the past twenty-four hours of your […]

The Beatitudes Examen

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know about the Examen, a prayer designed to help a person make a daily review with a focus on gratitude and openness to the Holy Spirit’s direction. This was the prayer St. Ignatius considered most important for a consistently God-ward journey. The steps of the Examen—pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance; review the day; identify where you saw God at work and give thanks for it; […]

The Examen and Holiday Family Times

This time of year brings many family gatherings. Have you thought about how prayer—specifically the Examen—can help you appreciate, grow, or heal your relationships? Andy Otto offers a Family Examen that might be a nice prayer to spend some time with during these busy days of December. The special Examen is available in audio and print formats at Andy’s blog, God in All Things. Becky Eldredge shares Five Ways the Examen Can Play a Role […]

What Gifts We Notice in the Examen

How does a person develop a thankful heart? It starts with having an attitude of gratitude. The Examen is a powerful prayer tool to help us cultivate a stance of grateful living. All five steps of the Examen are rooted in principles of gratitude. Asking the Spirit for help in seeing our day: The Spirit calls us to action, moving in us and through us. The Spirit works in and through others and helps us […]

Five Ways the Examen Can Play a Role in Marriage

I remain thankful for all who taught me Ignatian spirituality. It is not only the spirituality that guides my relationship with God, but it is also the spirituality that guides my marriage. Here are five ways the Examen can play a role in marriage. 1. The Examen helps us pray our marriage. When I teach someone about the Examen, I often say, “It helps you pray your life.” Our relationships and marriages are significant pieces […]

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