The Examen
Preparatory Acts:
➢ Set aside a time and place that is conducive to a prayerful moment.
➢ Spend a few moments allowing the concerns of the world to drift out of your mind as you realize
that you are truly in the presence of your loving Father.
➢ Ask the Holy Spirit to guide your heart and mind in this time of prayer, and then pray acts of
faith, hope and love to prepare your heart for the movements of grace. (There are copies of
these prayers on the back of this sheet, or you can simply pray from your heart for these same

Step 1: Gratitude
➢ This step is about understanding how much and how concretely God loves each of us. The
most essential fact of the spiritual life is that: God loves you.
➢ When we understand how much God loves us we can then begin to see all of the wonderful
things he does for us every day, and has done for us every day of our life.
➢ Remember that the spiritual life is essentially a relationship of love between you and your Father
in Heaven. Ingratitude or unawareness can do such tremendous damage to this relationship.
➢ In this step take time to reflect on the last 24 hours. Think about your day either hour by hour, or
broken up into chunks, or perhaps just the highlights, and consider how God’s grace and love
was present to you. As you are mindful of God’s grace in each moment of your day, give Him
the thanks and gratitude that He deserves.

Step 2: Petition
➢ This step is about asking God for the grace to grow closer to Him and be transformed in His
grace. Without God’s grace what can any of us hope to accomplish? Thus, it is essential that we
ask God for light and strength to persevere, not just in the Examen, but in our pursuit of the
➢ In this step ask God for the light and strength to know how best to live His Gospel and to follow
through with your resolutions and conversion of heart.

Step 3: Review
➢ This step is searching our day for the various spiritual movements that we experienced, whether
they were from the Father or the evil one, and how we responded to them.
➢ Consider your moments of prayer. How did you experience this time of prayer affectively? Did
you experience a growth of faith, hope, and love? Did your heart become full of new enthusiasm
and a deep desire to follow God? What thoughts or resolutions did your prayer leave you with?
Did you experience a coldness or distance from God? Did the fires of faith, hope and love grow
cold? What brought either of these experiences on? If they were from God, accept them. If they
were from the evil one, reject them.

Step 4: Forgiveness
➢ This step is about deepening our understanding that God truly loves us. It is essentially
relational. When we truly begin to understand just how much God loves us, then we can begin
to understand that even in our brokenness, littleness, and sinfulness that God never abandons
us. Growing in that love, trust, and understanding is the goal of this step.
➢ Looking over your day hour by hour, consider how you fell short of His love throughout the day.
Consider where you gave in to despair or allowed the evil spirit to get the better of you or did not
follow the clear promptings of God’s grace.
➢ As you consider each of these moments, ask God’s forgiveness for each, and for the strength
and grace to do better next time.
➢ This step is not about condemnation, but forgiveness. When we sincerely ask the Father for
forgiveness, we are truly forgiven. Always keep in mind that you are deeply loved by the Father,
and that he wants nothing more than to have you for Himself. Do not let sorrow or despair over
your brokeness or sinfulness pull you away from Him.

Step 5: Renewal
➢ This step is about looking back in order to look forward.
➢ As we enter this step we should consider the entirety of our Examen so far and propose
amendments with God’s grace. What amendment or resolution is God pressing on your heart?
➢ Do not let the evil sneak in now! The desire for deep conversion is always a great grace from
God, but if in your new found zeal you make a commitment that you cannot possibly keep, then
you almost certainly fall back into former ways of life. So always try to be mindful of how big
your commitments are, and make sure that they are achievable.

Step 6: Close
➢ Say an Our Father or some other appropriate prayer in thanksgiving for this time of prayer with
God, and then conclude.


Prayer to the Holy Spirit
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit
and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy
Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations. Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

Act of Faith
O my God, I firmly believe that you are one God in three divine Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I believe
that your divine Son became man and died for our sins and that he will come to judge the living and the dead. I
believe these and all the truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches because you have revealed them who
are eternal truth and wisdom, who can neither deceive nor be deceived.
In this faith I intend to live and die. Amen.

Act of Hope
O Lord God, I hope by your grace for the pardon of all my sins and, after life here, to gain eternal happiness
because you have promised it who are infinitely powerful, faithful, kind, and merciful.
In this hope I intend to live and die. Amen.

Act of Love
O Lord God, I love you above all things and I love my neighbor for your sake
because you are the highest, infinite, and perfect good, worthy of all my love.
In this love I intend to live and die. Amen.


Printable Version:

The Examen for Mornings of Reflection