Saint Peter’s Prep prays the Examen together as a school community on A and F Days, at the beginning of homeroom. The Examen is a brief reflection that not only helps us recognize God’s presence in our lives, but also allows us to think about how we respond to God’s role in our days. The Examen is a way of praying that helps us focus on our personal encounter with God. Yet, as individual as the Examen may be, it also strengthens us as a school community. When we pray the Examen and see the blessings of our lives, we become a gift for others. In this way, the Examen of each of us strengthens the others.
Our Friday morning Examen take about two minutes to complete. During that time, everyone at Prep stops, pauses, and reflects as they would for any other morning prayer.
The Examen follows a similar outline every time it is prayed on Friday mornings. A simple acronym, AGAPE, is helpful in remembering the steps of the Examen. Agape is a Greek word that, translated into English, means love – which is at the center of the Examen.
Awareness Gratitude Ask Perceive Enter
As soon as the homeroom bell rings on Friday, a prayer leader will begin the Examen by:
Having us become aware of God’s presence in our life. Reminding us that every experience is a gift from God as we ponder what moments this week are we grateful for. Inviting us to ask God for the ability to reflect honestly. Leading us to perceive what has brought us closer and farther from God in the past week. Helping us enter into the day with new resolve.
Several questions, with brief pauses, will move us through the above steps of the Examen. The prayer – intended for daily use – will be in an adapted format that is meant to introduce the Examen into the fabric of the Saint Peter’s Prep community. It is our hope that, through use on Friday mornings, the Examen will become a form of Ignatian prayer regularly used by our students, staff, and others in the Prep community.