In this evening's discussion gathering with our second session in the "Grateful" series we discussed an ancient practice of self-reflection that comes from St Ignatius of Loyola, called the Daily Examen. This is a short time taken each night to review, select, and offer thanksgiving. It came about in St Ignatius' time because he found many folks just did not have time during the day to dedicate to prayer, so he offered this alternative practice which is still valuable today.
Many spiritual guides recommend writing down a few things you were grateful for before going to sleep, and many recommend a prayerful evening review of the day, the Examen. This practice doesn’t need to be a long process it’s just a simple format that helps us to mark our day’s end in away that draws our mind and heart toward grace and gifts.
The Prayer involves five simple steps and centers on gratefulness:
1. Become aware of God’s presence.
2. Review the day with gratitude.
3. Pay attention to your emotions.
4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it.
5. Look toward tomorrow.
If you would like a phone or tablet app that can help lead you through this process, Loyola Press produce one that is titled "Reimagining the Examen" available for both Apple and Google powered devices:
For the Apple App Store see here.
For Google Play store see here.
And here is a fun infographic with a bit more detail from Busted Halo (on a computer you can right-click on the image and select "Open image in new tab" which will open it at full size - or just zoom in!):