Examen Prayer

The Examen is a way of praying by looking back at the events of my day, noting where the Lord was present.  This kind of prayer, which originates with St. Ignatius of Loyola, is especially helpful in developing a discerning heart, sensitive to the ways the Lord is speaking to us in everyday life.

You can find a great summary of the steps of the examen here.

Thoughts on the Examen Prayer

Zack Rodriguez

"As a sixth-year seminarian, I can honestly say that discernment can be tough at times. Figuring everything out, making the right decisions, “discerning” correctly can be at times, well, anxious. While this is a common experience, discernment is not meant to be this way. A major turning point in my own discernment of God’s will for my life was when I was introduced to the Examen Prayer of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Of course, I knew that God loved me unconditionally and was always present with me, but in praying the Examen Prayer, I began to see how He affected me through that constant love and presence. I became more aware and sensitive to His moving my heart and ultimately, gently guiding my life through His love. I began to see daily, His personal love me and His attracting me to more and more of it; to a life of holiness!

This Examen Prayer has helped me to live in God’s love and presence and has given me the freedom to respond more and more from my own place of love. It has turned my discernment, and ultimately my relationship with God, from an attempt to figure everything out, to an enjoyment of God’s delight in me, His beloved son. It has turned my anxiety to peace as I realize that His goal is to love me today and that as long as I accept that love, my response will be His will in my life."