Known as the “Examen,” this simple daily formula, put forth formally in the 16th century by St Ignatius, remains a powerful tool for reflection.
1. Presence + Light
Pause. Find your breath. Recognize God’s loving presence with you and ask for insight or light.
Rummage through the day so far. Recognize the blessings and brokenness of your day. Ask, Where did I know joy? For what am I most grateful? Where was there pain? How did I cause harm? Focus on just one or two aspects of your day that need attention.
Be mindful of what needs healing. Move toward reconciliation. Seek forgiveness.
4. Gratitude + Hope
Be grateful for all that has come your way this day. With hope, ask God to guide you as you move into the rest of your day or anticipate tomorrow.
Ways to Use this Formula
This reflection typically is done at the end of the day but can be adapted for your own routine. Celebrated Author and Catholic Health Initiative’s Board Chair, Chris Lowney, talks about using this formula as part of a “mental pit stop” through the day. The formula can be adapted for use with a team and allows insights to emerge, as the team closes out a cycle, completes a project, or reviews a process.
For more about “Ignatian Spirituality” and the history and practice of this prayer form, read “Rummaging for God: Praying Backward Through Your Day” Dennis Hamm, S.J. published originally in America, May 1994.