The Examen of Consciousness
- Recall you are in the presence of God
No matter where you are, hilltop or valley, country or city, in a crowd or alone, you are a creature in the midst of creation. Be aware of God's presence right here right now.
- Give thanks to God.
Take time to thank God for the good things that came into my day. For instance, I thank God for what happened in the morning before I left for work; the weather; an encounter with someone: a student, a colleague, a friend; for the energy to do my work today.
Pause in thanksgiving
- Ask for awareness of the Holy Spirit's aid.
Having thanked God for all the day's gifts as much as I can, I ask for the light of the Holy Spirit to see clearly and in hope how I am growing more fully alive to God in and through these gifts. I turn to this Spirit who grants me the freedom to look upon myself without condemnation and without complacency and thus be open to growth.
- Now examine how you are living this day.
Look back slowly over the day's event, persons, and circumstances. Allow the Lord to show you where he met, challenged, or helped you. Recognize Christ in the persons or events.
Look at feelings - consider actions as secondary to your feelings. Recognize the places of joy, turmoil, anxiety, freedom, fear, etc. For each particular feeling notice whether it moved you toward God to toward self. Compare your attitudes to Christ's attitudes: are yours Christ-like or not?
Find places for conversion - identify specific areas in which you feel called by God to a deeper conversion or change.
- Pray words of reconciliation and resolve.
Look upon yourself with compassion and see your need for God and try to realize God's manifestations of concern for you. Ask forgiveness for any failing you discovered during reflection. Express sorrow for sin: the obscuring darkness that surrounds us all, and especially for the times you resisted God's light today. Give thanks for grace, the enlightening presence of God, and especially praise God for the times you responded in ways that allowed you to better see God's life.