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Ignatian Examen

This short (15 minute) practice was crafted by Ignatius of Loyola as he sought ways to become ever more mindful of God's presence in his days. The Examen is intended to be done frequently,  as on a nightly basis. In fact, Ignatius paused throughout his day to consider the preceding  few hours. It also works well as a weekly, monthly or  annual rhythm. The five foundational steps can be adapted in many ways. One of the simplest is presented here.




Begin with breath -- inhale, exhale --  and come to stillness, allowing your heart and spirit to be centered and at peace. You may find over time that you develop a "usual" way of coming.


Ask God these questions, going slowly, listening for His whisper. 

God, would You look at [today, this morning, yesterday, this week] with me?

What has been on my heart and mind?

God, show me what You want me to notice.

Did it lead me toward or away from more faith, hope and love?

God, what is important to You about my day?

How was I with You, or not with You, in it?


God, if I need to repent, or to forgive, I do so now with an open heart.

Show me.


God, what graces (faith, trust, love, etc.) would please You for me to seek for tomorrow?

How shall I be formed?


To finish, rest for a moment with gratitude in the presence of God and allow Him to delight over you. You may consider making note of what you'd like to remember.

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