The Examen: Take Time to Reflect on Your Day

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The Examen helps students get through their days. By taking the time to reflect, it can really make a significant impact. 

The Examen is a spiritual exercise created by St. Ignatius to help us become more present and disciplined to the experience of God in everyday living, and to encourage us to live in the presence of God in our daily lives. 

At McQuaid, students participate in the Examen every long day, for five minutes to the end of the day. If a student has Mr. Hoelperl, they do an Examen every class period, for the most part. The Examen is a great way to reflect upon your day, to see what is going well, and to see what areas there is room to improve. 

The Examen guru, Mr. Hoelperl, was asked how the Examen helps him throughout the day. Mr. Hoelperl said, “On a daily basis, the Ignatian Examen grounds me in the Love of God for me personally, Experiencing God’s presence, Reminds me of the toxic thoughts, words and deeds of that day that separates me from God, Gives me an opportunity to forgive and be forgotten by the Redeemer Christ, and set me on the right path following the Trinity for rest of the day.”

The Examen does not only help get people through the days, but it can also help with life. Sometimes during the Examens in Theology class, it is easy to reflect on life as a whole and how it is going, to see what areas can be improved on and what should be continued through the day. 

Noah Clarke, ‘20 was asked about what he reflects on during the Examen. He stated, “The Examen helps me reflect on my day, both the positive and negative aspects. I reflect on what I am most grateful for. All of the blessings I can thank God for allowing me to have. I also look to see what areas I can improve in throughout my day. These improvements can be as simple as sitting with someone who is sitting alone at lunch, or wishing someone a good day while walking past them in the hallway. It is amazing how much of an impact these little things can have on not only someone’s day, but their life.” 

The Examen is a helpful tool for anyone, as long as they use it in a way where they can have a genuine reflection. The Examen should be implemented into our daily lives more often. Not only as a tool to reflect, but to become closer with God!