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I have found the practice of the examen to be a priceless and grace-giving one for me. I tend to be a more “glass-half-empty” kind of person, so noticing the grace of God in my recent experience helps me realize just how graced my life actually is.
Typically, I take a moment at the end of my day to reflect on my experience since the morning, looking for ways in which I experienced God’s grace in my life or through my life.
A daily examen is a practice whereby we reflect prayerfully on the experiences of our day to watch for God’s presence, God’s action, God’s grace. This enables us to gain wisdom for our continued journey with God in the days ahead.
We have created a 13-page workbook, centered on Isaiah 61, that you may use for reflection. This tool will enable you to look back over a year rather than simply one day. The reflections and prayers grew out of a time of listening to Isaiah 61 and looking back over a year in my life. The practice of an annual examen is much like a daily examen, but focuses on a longer look back.
Now that the holidays have passed, it might be good to set aside some time to look back over last year. Where have you noticed the grace of God in your life? How might you carry that forward?
May God bless you as you meet with him.
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Annual Examen — Isaiah 61