prayer of examen
The Daily Examen or Examine of Consciousness is a contemplative prayer that involves reflecting on the current or previous day in order to recognize our “with God” and “away from God” moments. Rather than this prayer being about clearing one’s conscience, the Examen is a prayer of consciousness. During an Examen, one focuses on memories from the events of that time as a way of recognizing God’s presence and movement in our lives and how we responded to God’s presence and movement.
Two key concepts used to practice the Daily Examen are consolation and desolation:
Consolation is an experience that causes you to feel alive, at peace, joyful, comforted, whole, connected, at your best. It might be described as an experience in which you feel oriented toward God or close to God.
Desolation is an experience that causes you to feel drained of energy, frustrated, irritated, angry, sad, sorrowful, alone, isolated, unaccepted, fragmented, less than your best self. It might be described as an experience in which you feel disoriented from God or far away from God.
Begin by stilling and centering yourself in your body. Breathe in and out, taking several deep, cleansing breaths. Now begin this five stage prayer.
Acknowledge your awareness of God.
Review the day in a posture of gratitude.
Recognize “consolation” and “desolation” from the day.
Choose a “desolation” to bring into prayer with God.
Commit with hope a new tomorrow.
*Adapted from the Gravity Center website: