On New Years Day, we celebrated the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. In my homily I spoke about how Mary, as our spiritual mother, is always reflective and helps us to meditate and reflect on how the Lord is at work in our lives. I also spoke about the importance of praying the Rosary as a great tool that Mary gives to aid us in our meditation.
Those of us who took part in the 33 Days to Morning Glory retreat this last Fall would remember that we talked about another great tool for meditation and becoming more aware of how the Lord is working in our lives and blessing us. This other tool is called the “daily examen.” The daily examen is not the same as merely examining our consciences to become aware of the sins we have committed throughout the day. The daily examen begins with reminding ourselves of God’s loving presence and calling to mind the Lord’s blessings, both big and small.
There are many different variations of the daily examen. In a nutshell, it goes like this:
1. Recall God’s presence with you; His gaze of love upon you.
2. Review your day – its events, encounters, conversations, ups and downs, etc. Pay attention to the blessings and spend a few moments giving thanks – even if it’s just for small things.
3. Pay attention to your emotions. Why have you felt the way you have felt? Is it coming from the Lord or not?
4. Choose something that stands out from the day to bring to the Lord and reflect on. Is there something the Lord is saying to you?
5. What is the Lord asking of you? What about tomorrow?
The examen is a great way to end your day. It only takes a few minutes of silence. It can be done in the middle of your day as well, even while you’re driving in the car. If you’d like to learn more about the daily examen, here is a website I’d recommend:
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! May the Lord continue to bless you and your families!