Examen of consciousness

3. Practical Survey

Again we look over the events of the day. This time we ask the Lord to show us where He has been present in our lives, either in us or others, and what He has been asking of us. The operative questions are: What has happened in us? How has the Lord been working in us? What has He been asking of us? (We consider our actions only secondarily to this).

We look over our interior moods, feelings, urges, movements and see what stands out, even slightly. We look for things as joy, pain, turmoil, increase (or decrease) of love, anger, harmony, anxiety, freedom, enslavement, presence of God, isolation, peace etc. Obviously this presumes that we have become sensitive to our interior moods, feelings, and slightest urgings, and that we are not frightened by them but have learned to take them seriously. It is here, in the depths of our affectivity - so spontaneous, strong and shadowy at times, - that God moves us and deals with us most intimately.

In what general direction do we think we are being drawn by God? How have we been responding to these experiences that draw us towards the Lord and invite us to be more like Him?

More particularly, what attitudes are manifest in those experiences? Let us remember that our experiences help us to discover the underlying attitudes, from which our actions and choices flow. Is there any one place in our heart or any attitude that the Lord is calling for conversion? Any one area we are being asked to focus our attention on? This is where our energy needs to focus on instead of the many other places we think are important.

We can use a general four-step process:

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