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):

  1. Imagine the presence of Jesus.
  2. In dialogue with Jesus, thank Him for the day and His presence in it
  3. Praying for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, ask for grace to see the day as Jesus sees it.
  4. 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
  5. 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?
  1. Follow this time by repenting for times of failure to see God’s presence and thanking God for times of awareness of Him.
  2. Ask God for help in being more aware of His presence during the coming day.