Examen – Discovering God’s Presence in My Life
This is an ancient spiritual practice, often done at the end of the day. I like to do it in the morning, reviewing the previous day. I use my journal and write it down, but you can also just do this exercise just thinking and praying.
One form of Examen (from David G. Benner, Sacred Companions):
- Imagine the presence of Jesus.
- In dialogue with Jesus, thank Him for the day and His presence in it
- Praying for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, ask for grace to see the day as Jesus sees it.
- Imagine watching the day with Jesus, as if it were on a DVD. Allow Jesus to pause the DVD and focus you on parts of the day that warrant attention
- As fragments of the day come to mind, the goal is to notice how aware I was of God’s presence in each experience. You can ask yourself questions like:
- How conscious of God was I at that moment?
- If I was not aware of His presence, what was blocking that awareness?
- If God seemed absent, can I now discern His presence?
- Follow this time by repenting for times of failure to see God’s presence and thanking God for times of awareness of Him.
- Ask God for help in being more aware of His presence during the coming day.