The Examen

The Examen is an approach to prayer based on reviewing our daily experiences with God. It’s full title is the Examen of Consciousness, but that tends to get mixed up with the Examination of Conscience which is a different thing entirely! This isn’t about looking at our day for where we’ve gone wrong, but looking for where God has been and what he’s been showing us through the day.

A lot of resources are available, and I’ll add more here over time. The basic pattern is quite simple, and you can begin with just a few minutes at the end of the day.

Online resources

The Art of Examen – 24/7 Prayer produced this Lent series in 2015, and it introduces different aspects of the Examen in a series of short videos, with other linked resources.

Pray as you Go – an excellent website and app which includes a set of introductions and audio tracks to guide you through the Examen – for example, try this one as a starter.


My favourite book drawing on the Examen is The Jesuit Guide to (almost) Everything by Fr. James Martin. It’s down-to-earth and wide ranging.

Another which I find helpful is Reimagining the Ignatian Examen by Fr. Mark Thibodeaux. This book gives a good introduction and then a month’s worth of ‘themed’ daily examens to try.

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