Recently, I have discovered what is called the Daily Examen. This practice has been used for centuries and is a method of personal daily inventory.
First, I find a quiet place where I can do my soul searching. I take a honest look at the last twenty-four hours and see what was good and not so good about it. Did I treat others as I would want to be treated? Did I go out of my way to help my fellow man? Or did I gossip about people that I don’t really care for?
I then ask for God’s mercy and forgiveness for the times that I was not proud of and thank God for the times that I did the right thing.
Second, I look to see if there were any significant events during the day that made an impression on me. Was there a person that God put into my path to make me a holier person? Maybe I experienced something that I can then pass on to another who is also trying like me to get closer to God. If I was blessed enough to have that kind of moment, I thank God for His benevolence.
The third thing I do is to pray for others that need to be lifted up that day. I pray of course for my family and friends but also for people that I have a hard time dealing with. It is easy to pray for those you love; the others are another story.
The last thing I do is say the Our Father. To me, it is the most perfect prayer that can be said.
The Examen has truly helped me to take stock of my spiritual life and to identify the areas that I need to work at. I can also see the things I am doing right and the change to thank God for His great mercy and love for me.
So, give it a try and Examen your soul.