Making Progress with the Examen

An Ignatian Prayer Adventure online retreat

This post is based on Week Two of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure.

In speaking about the Examen as a prayer we keep making, Fr. Joseph Tetlow, SJ, explains that the Examen is a way of keeping focus in our spiritual lives, or “making progress,” in Ignatian terms.

He explains that it’s crucial to begin with thanks for the gifts of now, like a good cup of coffee or a family member finding a new home. Then, after seeing how God has turned to us, how are we going to turn to God?

Fr. Tetlow also talks about the Gifts Examen.

Fr. Tetlow’s books include Considering Jesus, Always Discerning, and You Have Called Me by My Name.

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Joseph Tetlow, SJ
Joseph Tetlow, SJ, has spent his life sharing the message of Ignatian spirituality. His books Choosing Christ in the World and Always Discerning are considered classics of modern spirituality. Fr. Tetlow continues lecturing and writing. His latest book is Considering Jesus. He resides at Montserrat Jesuit Retreat House in Lake Dallas, Texas.


  1. in 1975, when my husband died, father jackson, helped me by teaching me to do the examen. he did not label it as such but this is exactly what he taught me to do so i would eventually find some comfort and direction in my life. it was only in the last five years out of some 48 of doing the nightly examen that i learned precisely what i was doing. fr. jackson has also long since died , but i am forever in his debt for teaching me to do this. some nights , comforted enough, i fall asleep before i am completely done. thank goodness, god also laughs.


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