The Awareness Examen
An Examination of Consciousness
A Brief Overview
Gratitude – Review – Sorrow – Forgiveness – Grace
Become quiet. Dedicate the time of prayer to God, offering all that happens in prayer as gift to Him. As with every prayer, begin by asking for God’s grace, consciously inviting God to be with you. The Examen is done in the presence of a living and loving God.
- Gratitude: Recall anything from the day for which you are especially grateful, and give thanks.
- Review: Recall the events of the day, from start to finish, noticing where you felt God’s presence, and where you accepted or turned away from any invitations to grow in love.
- Sorrow: Recall any actions for which you are sorry.
- Forgiveness: Ask for God’s forgiveness. Decide whether you want to reconcile with anyone you have hurt.
- Grace: Ask God for the grace you need for the next day and an ability to see God’s presence more clearly.
Conclude with a prayer of your choosing, perhaps the Our Father.
A Longer exposition on how to practice the Awareness examen
Resources on the Examen from Loyola Press
Other Jesuit Resources
Sacred Space – from the Irish Jesuits
Prayers by Ignatius and Others
An Approach to Good Choices
The What – How – Why? of Prayer
The First Principle and Foundation
The goal of our life is to live with God forever.
God who loves us, gave us life.
Our own response of love allows God’s life to flow into
us without limit.
All the things in this world are gifts of God,
presented to us so that we can know God more easily
and make a return of love more readily.
As a result, we appreciate and use all of these gifts of God
insofar as they help us develop as loving persons.
But if any of these gifts become the center of our lives,
they displace God
and so hinder our growth toward our goal.
In everyday life, then, we must hold ourselves in balance
before all of these created gifts insofar as we have a choice
and are not bound by some obligation.
We should not fix our desires on health or sickness,
wealth or poverty, success or failure, a long life or short one.
For everything has the potential of calling forth in us
a deeper response to our life in God.
Our only desire and our one choice should be this:
I want and I choose what better
leads to the deepening of God’s life in me.
St. Ignatius, from the beginning of the Spiritual Exercises
St. Ignatius’ Prayer for Generosity
Lord, teach me to be generous.
Teach me to serve you as you deserve;
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labor and not to ask for reward,
save that of knowing that I do your will.
Take, Lord, and Receive
Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory,
my understanding, and my entire will.
All I have and call my own.
Whatever I have or hold, you have given me.
I return it all to you and surrender it wholly
to be governed by your will.
Give me only your love and your grace
and I am rich enough and ask for nothing more.
St. Ignatius, from the end of the Spiritual Exercises