An Examen on my Emotions


March 16, 2020
Reimagining the Examen

Examen on my Emotions 

I ask God to make his presence known to me in this moment. I place my hands, palms up, in a gesture of receptivity. 

I spend a few moments in gratitude, thanking God for one or two of the blessings, big and small, that I’ve received today.  

I ask God to review my day emotion by emotion. How did I feel when I woke up this morning? As I was getting ready for the day? As I was driving to campus? As the morning progressed. And so on.  

I quickly pass over the fleeting emotions but dwell on the more pervasive ones or those I hadn’t noticed before. I also speak with God as I notice shifts in my emotions throughout the day. 

I speak with God about the strongest emotions of the day. Were they of the Good Spirit, the part of me that is moving closer to God and deeper in faith, hope, and love? Were they of the false spirit, the spirit in me that is stuck in fear, earthly thoughts, desires, cravings, and obsessions? 

I choose the strongest emotion of the day, and I speak to God about the way I respond to that emotion as the day progressed. What impact did this emotion have on me? Did I even acknowledge the emotion as I experienced it, or was I unaware of it? Did I consciously choose how to act on this emotion, or did I allow the emotion to influence how I would think, speak, and act? 

I speak with God about this, thanking God for my responses that were in sync with my Christian calling, and asking for forgiveness and healing when they were not. 

Knowing that my emotions are only partially in my control, I reflect on what emotions I want to have tomorrow. If I could choose only one, what would it be: joy? Peace? Loving-kindness? Courage? Gratitude? I pick one of these and imagine myself living out tomorrow with this emotion as my companion.  

I ask God to grant me the grace to be open to this emotion tomorrow and to put it to good use if and when it does come to me. 

Are there any last words I want to say to the Lord? 

I close with an Our Father. Amen. 

 

This was adapted from the app “Reimagining the Examen.” It can be found on app stores.