Ignatian Practice of 'The Examen'
The Examen is a reflective prayer practice which allows children to reflect on the day's events and to become more aware of the presence of God in their lives.
It was developed by Ignatius of Loyola, a 15th Century Basque, who became the founder of the Jesuit Order of priests.
"The Examen is a daily experience in descernment helping us to respond to God's loving invitations, not just during the time of Examen, but in all our daily living. It is to help to find God in everything" (John Enlish SJ 1989).
Five Stages of the Examen:
1. Disposition of thanksgiving - children reflect on something in their day that they can be grateful/thankful for
2. Prayer for light - children ask for the Spirit to be with them on their reflective journey.
3. Review of one's experiences - children review their daily experiences by engaging in simple prayer, song, reflective movement or drawing.
4. Give thanks or ask for forgiveness - children are asked to give thanks or ask for forgiveness and to savor the feelings associated with these experiences.
5. Looking forward with hope - children look forward to a new day with hope and ask for greater awareness of God's presence in the new day.