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Examen of Consciousness

Sister Doreen’s Reflections

Examen of Consciousness

This short exercise is to help increase one’s sensitivity to the Spirit working in one’s life and to provide one with the enlightenment needed to cooperate and respond to this presence.  I share this, as you might find it a helpful exercise or discipline to incorporate into your prayer life.


Begin by looking over the day and asking to see where you need to be thankful.  Do not choose what you think you should be thankful for, rather, by merely looking over the day see what emerges, what you notice, even slightly.  God’s presence in your life is a genuine presence and a consequence of God’s incredible and personal love for you.  Take a few moments just to acknowledge that reality.  Allow gratitude to take hold of you and express this to the Holy One who at this moment beholds you.

Ask for Light

This is a prayer for enlightenment from God, for the gift of awareness.  We ask God to show us what God wants us to see.  This is a desire for openness to an awareness and self-understanding.  Allow yourself to think freshly about the amazing degree of God’s love for you. 

In the light of that awareness, what new efforts will you make toward living a simpler, more open life marked by warm and genuine relationships?

What may be blocking my relationship with God?
Where is my real security in life?  Am I clinging to any false securities?
What do I really desire at the deepest level of my being?
What does God desire for me?

Finding God in all Things

Again look over the events of the day. This time ask the Spirit to show you where God’s presence has been in your life, either in you or in others, and in the events of public life:

In these events – where are the signs of the Spirit?  What movements and currents in my life are tending to lead me closer to God and to others?  How can I nourish these movements and learn to work with them?

In these events – where are the destructive or divisive powers?  What movements and currents in my life are tending to drift me further away from God and from others?  How can I learn to act against them?

In your own life what interior events were significant for you?  Notice what stands out even slightly: joy, pain, turmoil, increase of love, anger, harmony, anxiety, freedom, enchainment, presence of God, isolation

Respond to God in Dialogue

Is there any one area you are being nudged to focus your attention on, to pray more seriously over, to take action on?  This is where your energy needs focus instead of on the many other things you think are important.  Discuss this with Jesus.

Express what needs to be expressed: praise, sorrow, gratitude, desire for change, confusion and anger,  intercession ….

Help and Guidance for Tomorrow

Ask God for your needs for tomorrow.  For example, you may need to pray to overcome something – to be more sensitive to God’s activity in your life – to celebrate in some way – to let go – to deal with some issue – to be open to conversion in some area – to make some decisions to act against some destructive forces in the various worlds of your life.

Some other Reflective thoughts:

Am I willing to claim my weaknesses and my strengths? 
Am I willing to let God love me into healing?
What are the pains I have inflicted on others?
How will I now be a healer of these pains?
How do my everyday actions show that I realize the chain effects of sin?
How do I enter into the work of preparing the way for the fullness of the Kingdom?

Other resources for prayer:

The Great Litany – BAS page 138 – 143
The Reconciliation of a Penitent – BAS page 166 – 170, 171 – 172

(Material gathered over the years from various sources, pondered over, and reproduced for myself and my own use, in my own words with my own personal questions.)