Many exercise daily. Those who do not, will soon realise that without some form of exercise they get lethargic or sluggish. Lethargy also occurs when we stop praying, watch too much TV, and most of all, when we do not spend spiritual time with the Lord.
Jesus wants us to spend time with him. The Ignatian way of reviewing your day is to look at several key points in our attitude toward God. Set aside a specific time daily, turn off the TV or anything that will distract one from being with God. As you relax, in a favorite chair (not one in which you easily fall asleep!), bring your mind to a stillness that you reserve only for prayer. Relax and become aware how God shows his love for you. Pray to the Holy Spirit to find that deep stillness as you recall God's Presence.
May I recommend that you read the article on this subject, found at
It talks about interior stillness as you concentrate on the Lord and review what graces He has given you this day. With the help of the Holy Spirit think about what brings you closer to God and what pulls you away from Him (often that is distraction caused by external noise, e.g. from TV, etc.). Some recommend doing this before going to bed but if you do it when you are half asleep then you'll never get to the end of the exercise. Some say "sleeping in the Spirit" is prayer too. I won't argue with that but don't let that become a habit where one never finishes a prayer.
Be thankful for all the Gifts from God that day. It is in the little things that one sees the Presence of the Lord, a person's smile, your sense of humor at the right time. Be thankful for those favors. Be conscious that they occurred.
Reflect on the way you have used God's gifts that day. Have you taken the opportunity God provided for the benefit of those whom you met, or were you too busy with worldly affairs to make time for God when these inspirations came to you. ALWAYS make time for God!
Then ask for forgiveness, if you have missed opportunities He gave you to perform some sort of charity, if only a smile or a handshake.
Remember, tomorrow is a new day, a day where you can try again and do it better! If you make a habit of the Daily Examen, your spiritual life with become more meaningful as your relationship with the Trinity will increase.
Let us often spend time with God and listen to His voice as He speaks to us in our hearts!
Fred Schaeffer, ofs
October 1, 2013