It was the middle of a frigid and hard Chicago winter—one where you don’t see the sun for weeks on end—and I was commuting downtown to a freelance job. But every night I would pray the Daily Examen, which is an integral part of the Spiritual Exercises. The simple process consists of five steps:Share
This simple daily exercise helped me to see my life more clearly, and helped me to live more intentionally. I started noticing God everywhere—in a conversation I had with a friend, and the bright red cardinal perched on a branch on a cold winter day. (Read more.)
- Become aware of God’s presence by looking back on the events of the day. Ask God to give you clarity and understanding.
- Review your day with gratitude by focusing on the day’s gifts. Notice the small things—God is in the details.
- Pay attention to your emotions. St. Ignatius believed that we detect the presence of God in the movements of our emotions. By reflecting on our feelings we can become more aware of ways God is leading us.
- Choose one feature of the day and pray from it. Ask the Holy Spirit to direct you to something during the day that God thinks is particularly important.
- Look toward tomorrow. Ask God to give you light for tomorrow’s challenges. Seek God’s guidance. Ask him for help and understanding. Pray for hope.