The Examen Is Good for Men

The evangelical blogger John Mark Hicks makes an excellent point about the examen: I think it is particularly important for men since it focuses on emotion and feeling which are the windows to our souls but which windows we males often keep closed or shut off from others. This examen opens those windows to God and thus enables us to reflect on them and share them with others (especially our wives!) or closest companions in […]

Using the Examen to Change

Aaron Pidel, SJ, thinks that this observation in a Times article on self-monitoring is right on the mark.  When we try to change we simply thrash about: we improvise, guess, forget our results or change the conditions without even noticing the results. Errors are possible in self-tracking and self-experiment, of course”¦ But once you start gathering data, recording the dates, toggling the conditions back and forth while keeping careful records of the outcome, you gain […]

His Life Was Good but His Thinking Was Bad

One of my favorite characters in fiction is Konstantin Dmitrich Levin in Leo Tolstoy’s great novel Anna Karenina.  Levin is an intelligent young aristocrat with a powerful conscience and a strong thirst for truth.  He abandons the Orthodox Christianity of his childhood and seeks an answer to the meaning of life.  He finds none.  For himself (and everyone else) he foresees only “suffering, death, and eternal oblivion.”  His intellectual despair deepens so badly that he […]

Learning to Pray the Examen

Commenter Michelle suggests that readers who are interested in learning to pray the Examen might listen to this audio of a guided Examen produced by the British Jesuits. If you are interested in this most essential Ignatian prayer, browse the Examen material listed on this page of Try this video from St. Ignatius College Prep in San Francisco. The California Jesuits have produced another excellent guided Examen in audio format. You’ll find short handouts […]

A Guided Examen

Every day at 2:05 p.m., students at Strake Jesuit High School in Houston pause and pray an Examen. This is the audio that leads everyone through the prayer, along with a slideshow.

Questions for Your Examen

Fr. Jim Blumeyer, SJ, suggests some questions for your daily Examen: Where in the last 24 hours did you experience God’s touch in the events of today? What various energies dominated your mind and heart today? For instance: • Experiences of satisfaction and dissatisfaction at home, at work. • Experiences of interpersonal relationships with others, whether of love or rejection, that caused joy or frustration in your life today. Where have I been inattentive to […]

The Examen with Children

The Examen works for children too. Kimberlee Conway Ireton writes about her experience with it.  “The examen creates a rich tradition for our family of listening and being heard—which is helping all of us learn how to hear and speak not just to one another, but to God as well.” Go here for another look at families praying the Examen together.

The “Examen”ed Life

The fruit of the regular practice of the Examen—or more broadly, the life of regular, cumulative, formative reflection—is living with greater attentiveness, greater readiness, even greater anticipation of God’s whispers. I felt it this evening, running an errand with my older daughter Grace. We searched six stores for an item she needed for a science fair project—in the middle of rush hour!—when at one point it just occurred to me: “I am really enjoying this.” […]

The Examen for Families

Blogger Cynthia Kirk proposes a way for families to use the Examen around the dinner table: 1. For what time or event today are you most grateful (thankful/happy)? (Initially, you may have to name a few things in a young child’s day to help them catch on to the practice for #1 and #2.) 2. For which moment are you least grateful? 3. How did you show love today? (For very young children, you may […]

Examen Online is a new website that offers several ways of praying online that draw inspiration from the Daily Examen, the one form of prayer that Ignatius Loyola considered indispensable.  The site’s scripture examens are more like lectio divina prayer, but “its Prayer of Examen” is an online version of the classic Examen prayer.  If you register with the site you can keep a prayer journal there. There’s more on the Examen right here at

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