Try to dedicate at least 10–15 minutes to the following prayer every night. This prayer method incorporates the five points recommended by Saint Ignatius for the General Examen.
My precious Lord, as this day comes to a close, I take this moment to turn to You. Help me, in this moment of quiet, to examine my day in gratitude. May I be attentive to the powerful ways that You have been at work in my life this day as well as the most subtle of ways. May I see all the ways that You have blessed me in abundance this day.
Now call to mind the many blessings of the day and make a quick list of all the ways God has blessed you—for example, life, health, friendship, family, an activity, a particular encounter with someone, a kind word given or received, a fruitful time of prayer, an insight received, and any/every way that God has blessed you.
Lord, You have blessed me in an abundance of ways. Your gifts are continually bestowed upon me. I thank You this day not only for the great and powerful ways in which You have blessed me but also for every small gift of Your grace this day.
Lord, I also know that You have much to say to me this day. Please open my mind and heart right now to whatever it is that You want to say. Help me to see all that keeps me from loving You and others, and help me to see the ways You are at work in my life. As I see, help me to listen and respond to this gift of Your grace.
Review of Day:
Review your day considering your thoughts, words and actions.
Look for the consolations and desolations using the lessons in the discernment of spirits (Ch. 5 & 6). Consider God’s graces in more detail, striving to understand the good that God has done in you. Consider also any sin that comes to mind.
Review your journal (if you use one) to consider the various ways God has been speaking to you over the past weeks. Write down any insights into that journal at this time.
Lord, I thank You for helping me to see the ways that You have been at work in my life this day. Thank You for the joys, the consolations and the countless blessings You have bestowed upon me. I pray that I will continually be aware of Your workings in my life so that I can hear Your voice more clearly and follow Your will with greater abandonment and love.
Briefly examine your conscience also. From time to time you may want to also return to one of the full examinations provided (Seven Capital Sins – Ten Commandments – Faith, Hope, Charity). Focus especially upon any sin you have been struggling with recently. Then make an act of sorrow and ask for forgiveness.
I also pray that You bestow upon me Your mercy for my sins. Please give to me the grace of humility so that I can admit all my sins without reserve. I pray that every sin will be forgiven, and I open myself to Your grace so that Your merciful Heart will create me anew. Your presence in my life brings great joy; my sin leads to sorrow and despair.
For every sin that I have committed this day, I am sorry and I beg for Your forgiveness, my merciful Lord.
Renewal and Resolution:
Make your personal resolutions here for tomorrow based on what God has spoken to you in these reflections. Then conclude with this prayer:
My dear Lord, I resolve to serve You more faithfully. Help me to put into practice all You have revealed. I choose You as my Lord. I choose You as my Guide and pray for Your abundant blessings tomorrow.
May this night be restful in You. May it be a night of renewal. Speak to me, Lord, as I sleep. Guard me and protect me the whole night through. My guardian angel, Saint Joseph, my Blessed Mother, intercede for me now and always.
Examination of Conscience: Seven Capital Sins
Examination of Conscience: Ten Commandments
Examination of Conscience: Faith, Hope & Charity
Short Examination of Conscience: Faith, Hope & Charity
Probing the Depths – Full Table of Contents
Part One: Background of Saint Ignatius and Lessons From The Spiritual Exercises
Part Two: Ignatian Meditations Arranged According to the Liturgical Year
Part Three: Additional Prayer Materials for Use Throughout the Year