5 Movements of The Examen: Home Guide
Step 1: Invite the Holy Spirit into the process.
This is a key first step. We often overlook this and get right into it. We cannot take it lightly.
Step 2: Thanksgiving
We anchor the Examen in gratitude. We review the day with Thanksgiving. There is something about what gratitude does to our hearts. Sometimes we are so quick to ask for something from God that we forget to thank him for all the things we do have.
“It is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.”— Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Step 3: Awareness (Prayer of reviewing our feelings)
We review our day – the interactions we had, the people we met, the words that were spoken, the feelings that arose. We try to become aware of where we were LIKE Christ and where we were NOT LIKE Christ. Notice the feelings that arise with humble curiosity.
“St. Ignatius’s key insight is that our emotions often speak truth in ways that our brains have missed or rationalized.” – Aaron Niequist, The Eternal Current
Step 4: Pray (Prayer of our dominant feelings)
This is praying our dominant feelings. We pray from these emotions and tell God what we feel and pour our heart out to him. Then we stop and listen…
Sometimes God speaks and sometimes he does not in these moments but our only role is to create the space for him to do so.
Step 5: Hope
As we close our Examen, we look to hope – new mercies and a renewed sense of God’s love. We ask – “What do I want to hold onto from today that I can be especially conscious of tomorrow?”
Father Michael Sparough, New Liturgy No 6: The Examen