Examen of consciousness
This is a daily exercise of discernment in a person's life. In discernment the prime concern is not with the morality of good and bad actions; but rather the way teh Lord is affecting or moving us (often quite spontaneously) deep in our affective consciousness. What is happening in our consciousness is prior and more important than our actions which can be delineated as juridically good or evil.
The examen is, then, a daily renewal and growth in our Christian identity - this unique flesh-spirit person being loved by God and called by Him. It is a time of prayer that can help our awareness of God at work in the details of our daily life and prepare us to cooperate and respond to His active presence.
1. Prayer for enlightenment
This whole exercise is a matter of a Spirit-guided insight into God's work and action in our lives. It is, therefore, the result of God's enlightenment, not so much our own analysis of the day. We ask to be helped to see ourselves a bit more as He sees Himself, to see and recognize what He is doing in us, as a first step towards our responding to Him in love.
2. Reflective Thanksgiving
We begin by looking over the day and asking to see where we need to be thankful. We should not choose what we think we should be thankful for, rather see what emerges, what we notice, how we feel towards that ? Do we see the giftedness of our life? Do we sense our poverty? We should allow gratitude to take over us and express it to God our Father, Son, and Spirit dwelling in us.
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