As outlined in 2.05 Attitudes of Awareness, the Awareness Examen is a critical tool to sensing God’s movement and action in one’s life. An ongoing practice of the Awareness Examen allows you to recognize the moments and glimpses of God’s unfolding graces in some of the most simple moments, such as receiving a text from a distant friend, being given extra time in the midst of a hectic schedule, appreciating a hummingbird that flutters to a nearby tree, or feeling really peaceful about the outcome of a job interview even though it may not have been your best. The Examen allows us to reflect on these moments and savor them in way that we may have been missed if we had not taken the time. Through this practice, we grow into an orientation of gratitude that deeply grounds our daily existence. From this standpoint, we affirm that every ounce of our living is a movement in the rhythm of God’s profound love. Furthermore, the more regularly we pray the Examen, the more we come to recognize patterns of what gives us life and what continually drains us. Recognizing these smaller “nudgings” helps inform the larger decisions of our life such as where we are to move, what we are to study, and what jobs we are most invigorated to apply for. As we also recognize patterns in what energizes us and gives us joy, we might be able identify specific gifts that illuminate our personal vocations.
- Meditation music
- link to pray-as-you-go audio
Ask for the grace to encounter the living God in all things in the midst of our daily experience.
Invite anyone who has utilized the Awareness Examen to share on their experience.
The Awareness Examen’s basic foundation is gratitude. Awareness Examen below is just one of the many versions available. Find more at ignatianspirituality.com. This exercise is meant to help facilitate a greater attention to the “pulse” of God’s presence in the past day and to identify how we can be more receptive to God’s “nudgings” and “invitations” in our response to people, experiences, projects, etc.
of the Examen to guide your group’s reflection.
- What emerged during your Awareness Examen?
- Were you surprised at anything that surfaced? Were you reminded of something you had forgotten that you were grateful for?
- Did anything surface that challenged you?
- What has struck you as you have been listening to others share? Do you notice any patterns or commonalities?
- How have you been feeling throughout the meeting? Comfortable? Anxious? Curious?
- Is there anything you would like to share after listening to another person share?
- How can you imagine this daily practice being a useful tool for your spiritual camino?
Try the “AWARENESS EXAMEN CHALLENGE”: Find some creative way to utilize technology to commit yourselves as a group to share the fruits of the Examen in the following week. For example:
- Make a blog where everyone posts what they feel most grateful for
- Send a group text each day sharing one word of what emerged for you
- Post on Facebook or Twitter a fruit of the Examen
Check out Other6 for an example.
Offer to God all the people and experiences in the past week that the group is grateful for.
“This law of love, which the Spirit inscribes in our hearts, expresses itself anew in each situation of our daily lives.” (CLC-USA General Principles #2)
“Our vocation calls us to live this spirituality, which opens and disposes us to whatever God wishes in each concrete situation of our daily life. We recognize particularly the necessity of prayer and discernment, personal and communal, of the daily examination of consciousness and of spiritual guidance as important means for seeking and finding God in all things.” (CLC-USA General Principles #5)
“I should notice and dwell on those points where I felt greater consolation or desolation, or had a greater spiritual experience.” (Spiritual Exercises )
“As he came near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying ‘If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.” Luke 19:41-42
“As they approached the village to which they were going, he gave the impression that he was going on farther. But they urged him, ‘Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.’ So he went in to stay with them. And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning [within us] while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?’ So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem where they found gathered together the eleven and those with them who were saying, ‘The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!’ Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.” Luke 24:28-35