How to Give the Awareness Examen
Ex 20 – The Awareness Examen
1. I give thanks.
I give thanks for the graces, benefits and good things of my day.
2. I ask for help.
I ask the Holy Spirit for help to discern my day with openness.
3. I review.
I review my day, hour by hour, to see how God is working in my life.
4. I respond.
I respond to what I felt or learnt in my review just made.
5. I resolve.
I resolve with hope and the grace of God to amend my life tomorrow.
Suggested Prayer time: 10-15 min: Thanks 3 min. Help 1 min. Review 3-8 min. Response 2 min. Resolve 1 min.
How to Give The Awareness Examen
The Awareness Examen sifts the day with gratitude and seeks to discern the traces of God at work in daily life. It guides the receiver with consolations, understanding and inner peace. The best time to pray it is at day’s end or midday.
You give the Awareness Examen by simply guiding the receiver through the five steps of the prayer. You just read the five sentences leaving time for the receiver to answer them. Following the suggested prayer time, you can see that more time is spent on points one and three.
Before beginning, remind your receiver that focus of the Awareness Examen is not on her or his life, rather it is on God’s life at work in her or his life. In practice, you could expand on each point briefly, as below, if you wish – but only briefly.
1. I review my day recalling its gifts, large and small, and allow gratitude to well up in me.
2. I make a prayer to the Spirit for discerning light in praying this Examen.
3. I carefully search out how God is working in my life, moving hour by hour, through my day. After some weeks I also look for any pattern of events or relationships that console me or give me inner peace. Conversely, is there a pattern that desolates or deadens me? I begin to see how God works best through me. How may I work best with God tomorrow?
4. I respond. I might feel wonder, sadness, or sheer delight with my Lord. We speak about this.
5. I consider the loving way forward. I may desire growth or transformation. I may resolve to develop some virtue or grace or gift. I might seek a renewal. So I act in response to my new awareness. I will do my best and surrender the outcome to God.
On another note: The best way to teach this exercise to another giver is to guide it first in prayer without any explanation. Then, after listening to your receiver’s experience, take him or her through each point in explanation. This works well for teaching a group as well.
Prayer texts that speak to the Awareness Examen
The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. (Jn 14:26)
My Father is still working, and I also am working. Indeed, just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whomever he wishes. (Jn 5:17, 21)
The tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble them- selves will be exalted. (Lk 18:13–14)
You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. (Jn 15:16)