Context of the Examen
The Examen is a popular way of praying and was developed by St. Ignatius Loyola
(1491-1556) ,founder of the Society of Jesus (The Jesuits). He suggested that his brothers
undertook a daily way of praying by examining their lives so they could better serve God.
St. Ignatius stated that the key to a healthy spirituality was to find God in all things and work constantly to gain freedom in your life in order to cooperate with God’s will.
This daily exercise he called the Examen and he suggested that it should be prayed twice daily– with the practice allowing people to hear God in their hearts and with the daily practice be able to discern God’s will for them in their lives.
Making time for prayer allows you to fully feel God’s presence in your life and enter into a deeper more intimate conversation with Jesus. The Examen takes about 15mins to complete.
There a 5 simple steps and the prayer can be made anywhere. The Examen is a simple prayer, a prayer for busy people who are continually seeking to do God’s will.
Finding God in all things
“The Word of God is very near to you, it is in your mouth and in your heart for your observance. See, today I set before you life and prosperity, death and disaster…Choose life.” (Dt 30:14, 15, 19)
This small prayer, the Examen of Consciousness, is the heart of the spirituality developed by St. Ignatius Loyola and his followers. If practiced once or twice daily, it will
help move you closer to the heart of Christ in all your thoughts and deeds.
It enables us to open our heart more fully to the will of God in our lives and recognise God’s presence in everything, as we go about our daily tasks.
(Adapted from “Examen of Consciousness: Finding God in all things” by
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