The Reconciliation Examen
1. I Give Thanks
After reading the prayer texts, I stand for a few minutes before the Father, as son or daughter, and feel his compassion as he puts his arms around me. I sift the month, with gratitude, for times I have received or given forgiveness.
2. I ask for help
I ask the Spirit to intercede for me with sighs too deep for words.
3. I review
I move through the last month, day by day:
1. Before the Father of mercies, I recall if I have rejected or withheld love.
2. In the light of the Lord’s forgiveness, I sift my thoughts, words and actions.
3. With the Spirit, I examine the general direction of my life—my true self.
4. I explore one social structure I belong to, discerning good from the unjust.
5. I bring to Jesus any sin or sinful pattern that has real and deadly consequences in my life.
4. I respond
I enter the mystery of the Trinity’s reconciling and forgiving love. I humbly express my sorrow for what was revealed above, and ask for forgiveness.
5. I resolve
I resolve to take one or more of the following paths to reconciliation:
1. To adjust my lifestyle or work, see a counselor or spiritual director, or deepen my personal, family and church relationships so that the Lord may forgive and reconcile me through them.
2. To bring where I need forgiveness to Jesus, and to call on his merciful love.
3. To take any needed reconciling action, for myself or others I have hurt.
4. To receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation, now and monthly if possible.
5. To make, as envoy for Christ, one small act of reconciliation next month.
Suggested Prayer time: As needed.
The steps and questions of the powerful Reconciliation Examen are self evident.
The key to this exercise is that you spend more time of those questions or points that are useful and engaging for you and less time on those points that are not. In other words, spend more time on those questions or actions closest to your need.
The heart of the exercise is to simply and humbly ask for forgiveness.
Note the last step, is there a small but real way in which you can practice a needed reconciliation?
Interested in tasting a retreat with this exercise? Source the First Spiritual Exercises here.
Alternatively, check the retreat offered this month under the Spiritual Exercises menu.
Your responsible agreement is necessary for printing and use of this exercise:
I agree give the FSE to others without cost.
I agree to use the attribution: First Spiritual Exercises © Michael Hansen Ave Maria Press
I agree to embody the FSE Code of Ethics and the The FSE Golden Rules.
I agree to create a FSE Safety Net before giving the FSE retreats.