Monday, February 22, 2010

The "Examen Prayer"--and Lent

Yesterday in church, I was fortunate enough to hear Fr. Joseph Koterski, SJ, speak about the “Examen Prayer” in his sermon. This prayer, which comes to us from St. Ignatius of Loyola, is a good one to say—to meditate on—every day, but especially, of course, in Lent. It is recommended to do this prayer for about 10 minutes a day, ideally perhaps before going to bed.

The Examen Prayer is easy to remember: the key word is GRACE.

G stands for Gratitude: We thank God for something—or perhaps many things—in our life.

R is Request for Light: We request the grace to see ourselves clearly. We ask God to show us what He wants of us.

A stands for Account: We review in our mind our actions and thoughts since the previous day (or since we last made this prayer). We note the patterns of our thoughts, feelings, and behavior.

C: Chart Your Course: Do we keep moving ahead in the same way? Or should we change direction? Where do we need Contrition? Do we need to go to Confession?

E refers to Enthusiasm: We ask God for the grace to carry out our resolutions with Enthusiasm.

In Lent, here are a few issues that we may want to take up in our Accounting and Course-charting: How are we keeping Lent? How are we practicing the fasting and abstinence that are essential to this great penitential season? Are we practicing self-denial?--and greater charity and prayerfulness?

And how might we do it better, more generously?


  1. We just heard this on EWTN tonight. Fr. Koterski was on Sunday night live with Fr Groeschel talking about resurrection. He also mentioned the GRACE acronym. This sounds really helpful.

  2. I also heard this yesterday and liked it very much. However, instead of E for Enthusiasm, I heard him say E for Entreating the Lord for the enthusiasm and energy to chart our correct course.