To feel forgiveness, you must become aware of those things you have not done well.
1. Think about them
2. Recognize them
5. Feel Free
How do you pray the Examen?
There are five steps to the Examen as it appears in The Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius Loyola. It can roughly take 10 to 15 minutes to complete.
1- Give thanks
‘To give thanks to God for the benefits received.’
Spend a few moments in gratitude for the gifts and blessings of the day.
2- Ask for light
‘To ask for the grace to know one’s sins and reject them.’
For St Ignatius, it is just as important to look honestly at your flaws and failings as it is to look at your strengths and successes. Ask God to enlighten you, showing you where He has been at work and present in your day through events, people, and places.
3- Examine the day
‘To ask an account of one’s soul from the hour of rising to the present examen, hour by hour, or from one period to another, first about thoughts, then about words, and finally about deeds’.
Review the moments of the day. Notice here what has led to consolation, what has led to desolation, and your reactions to these events, people, and places (see below on consolation and desolation).
4- Seek forgiveness
‘To ask God our Lord for pardon for sins.
Ask God’s forgiveness for the times when you have acted, spoken, or thought contrary to His grace and invitation to you.
5- Resolve to change
‘To determine to do better with His grace’.
Decide what in your behaviour or attitude you will try to improve tomorrow and, as you look forward, ask God for the grace and strength you will need in the coming day.