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Saint Ignatius of Loyola

31 July All day

One of the many gifts of St Ignatius to the Church is his understanding of the process of discernment. Discernment is more than simply deliberating and making wise decisions. It is about prayerful attentiveness to God’s presence in us and in the world, and openness to answering God’s call to us, both personally and collectively.

The examen prayer, which St Ignatius asked Jesuits to pray twice daily, is a fundamental practice of discernment. It helps us to cultivate awareness of God’s action in us and in our world, and to pay attention to our response. It is not an examination of conscience, like our reflection in preparation for the sacrament of reconciliation, but rather and examination of our consciousness, and so it is sometimes known as the consciousness examen.

There are many contemporary versions of the examen. They share five steps or elements that can be summarized as expression gratitude, seeking insight, reflecting, noticing, and looking forward.

Find out more about St Ignatius of Loyola here.

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