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Make time to pray the Examen

It can be easier to rush through the day, to rise and then sleep all the while moving briskly through our daily routines. But with a 5-step reflection process such as the Examen, we are given an opportunity to take part in a daily practice of noticing the good in our lives. The Examen is a prayer made popular by St. Ignatius and is a method to slow down and intentionally think through the day, your experiences, interactions, relationships, and emotions.

It is through this practice, that our true, kind and loving selves can interact more fully with those in our lives, and perhaps even with God. With 15-minutes set aside to recollect, show gratitude, notice the good showing up for us in new ways, and notice when we failed to notice to the good around us, that we find the space within ourselves to recommit to seeing God in all things and people.

Set aside some time for prayer, quiet yourself and make your way through these 5-steps that make up the Examen. This particular examen is inspired from Dennis Hamm, SJ but there are numerous versions.

1. Prayer for Light:

It is only with the aid of the Holy Spirit that I can truly know myself as I am.  My desire is to see myself free of all self-deception.  For this reason, I call upon the Holy Spirit to give me the grace to see myself as I am seen by God.

2. Thanksgiving:

This is recognition that “All is gift.”  Our very being comes from God.  All that we are and all that we have stems from God’s infinite grace and mercy.  We assume the stance of a poor person possessing nothing and thankful for all that is given to us.

3. Survey of Self:

Seeking to know what is happening to me and where the God is in my life.  Sorting through my moods, feelings, and urges.  Sorting out the spirits that are moving in my life.  Listening to God at the core of my being.   More important than what I have done is the question why am I doing these things.  It is finding the root of my actions.

  • Where have I seen God today?
  • Where did I miss God today?

4. Contrition:

Expressing sorrow for where I have failed to respond to God’s call.

5. Hopeful Resolution:

Facing the future with hope in God and not in myself.  Resolving to seek the face of God in my day-to-day interactions.


Are you looking to live and work with those in need to build a more just and hopeful world? Give us one intense year, and we’ll give you a sense of purpose to guide every year that follows.

In a culture that values what people have over what they give, JVC is an opportunity to commit to the dignity and well being of others and let faith ignite in action. Download a mini-discernment retreat to help you decide if you’re ready for year or two with JVC.