Lent is a time when we are invited to take stock and reflect on our lives, our values and motivations and to be grateful for what we have and who we are. Jesuit and Ignatian schools often have short retreats or regular prayer times and social activities during the Lenten season. Some schools are already practicing and others might consider introducing the Examen as a prayer and reflective “tool” this Lent and beyond.
St. Ignatius of Loyola did not have many rules of prayer – but one of them was the requirement that Jesuits practice the Examen twice daily. We know for sure the Examen had a very unique place in the heart of St. Ignatius. Almost 500 years later the Examen is still one of the most unique aspects of Ignatian Spirituality and is practiced by people from many religions and none. The question then becomes – how do we introduce the Examen to young students where there can be little or no faith practiced?
The “Examen in Practice” keynote (in English and in Spanish) from Educate Magis is comprised of short videos (about 3 minutes each) from Jesuit schools in the six regions of the world – highlighting the practice and benefits of the Examen in very different school settings, including a school where 90% of the students are non-Catholic. Enjoy the videos and feel free to share your experiences or thoughts with other educators from Jesuit and Ignatian schools around the world.
Resources and school projects on the Examen:
There is an Examen handbook for you to download prepared by Ross Jones SJ of the Australian province.
The Sacred Story Institute started a two-year research project in August 2015 to build a teen platform for the Examen called True Heart – Sacred Story Teen.
Online resources and Apps:
- The Ignatian Spirituality website offers an excellent collection of resources on the
- “Reimagining the Examen” App offers a unique prayer experience that’s tailored to your needs and mood. Choose an Examen that matches your current state of being, or pray that day’s scheduled reflection. “Reimagining the Examen”, created by Loyola Press, is based on Mark Thibodeaux, SJ’s best-selling book, Reimagining the Ignatian Examen, which offers flexible and adaptable versions of the Examen. Begin the app experience today to invite grace, gratitude, and insight into your daily life.
- JesuitPrayer offers daily scripture, Ignatian reflections, and prayer to anchor your day and strengthen your resolve to remember what truly matters. It allows you to set a “call to daily examen” reminder. The app was developed by a collaboration between the Magis Center for Catholic Spirituality and Loyola Press. Get it free for Apple and Android
- The Examine App invites you to reflect on your day honestly, track and view changes, record your thoughts, and share privately with close friends.
- A new mobile app by the Apostleship of Prayer is seeking to connect people around the world to pray for the Pope’s monthly intentions. The Click to Pray app is available foriPhone, Android and Windows.
- Daily Examen from Strake Jesuit College Preparatory. Each school day at Strake Jesuit, at the beginning of 7th period (2:05 PM on Regular Order days) the entire campus stops and this audio plays to lead everyone through the Examen. Audio:
Please let us know if you have resources around the Examen which you would like to share with our global community!