3 Fruitful Methods for Making a Daily Examination of Conscience
What a fruitful way to end your day!
During the season of Lent, we are each called to turn back to Christ.
Renewing our prayer lives to include something different is just one way we can do this. With this in mind, doing a daily examination of conscience may be just what we need!
The daily examen involves reviewing all aspects of one’s day. It asks us to not only acknowledge our blessings and victories, but also our difficulties and losses. We conclude the examen by seeking God’s mercy.
Before we look at some ways to pray using the Examen format, let’s look at the history of this spiritual practice.
There are various ways to perform a daily examination of conscience. St. Ignatius of Loyola developed the traditional daily Examen prayer, which he originally described in his Spiritual Exercises. He believed this Examen came directly from God!
The Jesuits practice this twice daily as part of their rule of prayer–and many Christians do the same.
It can help us notice God’s presence in our lives, thus, helping us grow in relationship with Him.
Here are a three examen options:
Each night before going to sleep review your day with the CPR Method:
C = Claim your blessings. Reflect on the good things that happened to you today, and explicitly recognize God’s hand in them.
P = Pinpoint victories and losses that you had today. Celebrate and repent as needed.
R = Renew your loving commitment to Christ
End with an Our Father, a Hail Mary, and the sign of the cross.
Here’s how to access this guide!
Laudate App>Click Prayers>Daily Examination of Conscience
The traditional five-step daily examen from Saint Ignatius of Loyola:
The chart reads:
1) Become aware of God’s presence.
2) Review the day with gratitude.
3) Pay attention to your emotions.
4) Choose one feature from the day and pray from it.
5) Look toward tomorrow.
Access this guide on Ignatianspirituality.com.
The Analytical Method:
Quiet your soul and enter in God’s Presence, asking Him for light to know yourself and to know Him.
Review the major areas of God’s will in your life, examining the level of your faithfulness to what God was asking of you. Trust that the Holy Spirit will draw your attention to what He wants you to reflect on.
Thank God for the good that, with His grace, you were able to accomplish, ask for His forgiveness for your shortcomings and sins.
Renew your commitment to follow Him even more closely tomorrow.
Whichever method you choose, this spiritual practice is supposed to help convert your heart and your life into further relationship with our Merciful Father in Heaven.
How are you growing closer to Christ this Lent?
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[See also: A New Nighttime Examen Based on the Annunciation You Can Try Tonight]
[See also: The “3×5 Examen”: 3 Simple Ways to Examen Your Conscience in 5 Minutes]
Caroline Perkins is the Brand Content Editor at Church POP. She lives in Denver with her husband and three children. She is also founder and designer of Be Still By Caroline and the author of "ABC Get to Know the Saints with Me!".
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