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 […]

The Challenge of the Examen

L. White, who blogs as the “Still Practising Catholic,” experimented with prayer journaling the Examen. She found it challenging to notice areas of her life that might need to change: One small example is at the Weekend the alarm goes off in the morning and I cajole my husband into getting out of bed and making me a cup of tea. He doesn’t work at the weekend and I realised that I was cutting his […]

The Money Examen

Who knew that St. Ignatius, aside from being a battlefield warrior, a prolific letter-writer, and a spiritual genius, also left wisdom for financial situations? Of course, in his day and today, many would say that a man who came from the wealthier class only to deny it all and end up begging on the streets must not be too financially savvy. However, after a bit of moderation, Ignatius seems to have found the true key […]

The Examen Can Change Your Life

Karen Beattie writes at Aleteia’s For Her about “The Daily Prayer That Can Change Your Life,” which happens to be the Examen. At the time, my husband was in school and my career was in flux and we were struggling. We were also trying to adopt a child. I couldn’t see God in any of it. Where was he? I started calling him “Ghost God.” It was the middle of a frigid and hard Chicago […]

Football and the Examen

I am a huge football fan. When my team is playing, I am dressed in team colors and cheering with great enthusiasm. I go to great lengths to catch the game when my team is playing. While I definitely prefer to watch the games on TV or at the stadium, occasionally I have had to settle for tuning in to the game on the radio. It’s when I listen on the radio that I become […]

What the Examen Has in Common with Sports Commentary

As I was writing the Olympics post, it struck me that the Examen prayer has much in common with sports commentary. One version of the steps in the Examen reads: Become aware of God’s presence. Review the day with gratitude. Pay attention to your emotions. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it. Look toward tomorrow. Look at those steps through the lens of sports commentary, especially in an ongoing event like the […]

The Examen: Alive in the Present Moment

Our examen teaches us, above all, to live in the present. Our days typically unfurl in frenzied preoccupation with the next meeting to attend, errands to be done, dinner to be prepared, and a hundred other tasks that crowd an efficient day. The monk Thich Nhat Hanh points out that we humans are great at planning and willing to sacrifice today to save for cars and houses tomorrow, “But we have difficulty remembering that we […]

Examen for Working with Marginalized Students

The Examen is a traditional method of prayerful awareness that is a bedrock in Ignatian spirituality and Jesuit education. It’s a short, easy way to reflect on your day and become more mindful about where you are experiencing grace or goodness and where there is room in your actions and life for growth. What people don’t often realize is that the Examen is exceptionally flexible and adaptive. It can be used to review your day […]

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