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Particular Examen – Navigating the Interior Life Spiritual Dictionary

November 22, 2013 by  
Filed under Conscience Exam, Dan Burke, Spiritual Dictionary

PARTICULAR EXAMEN: Regular prayerful examination of one's conscience by concentrating on some for post on particular examenone particular moral failing to be overcome or virtue to be exercised.  Its focus is on such external manifestations of the fault or virtue as can be remembered for periodic inventory.  Particular examens are changed weekly, monthly, or otherwise in order to ensure maximum attention.  They are also commonly associated with some brief invocation for divine assistance, as occasions arise for avoiding a sin or acting on a virtue. And after some time another cycle may be started of the same defects that this person has to conquer or good habits he or she needs to develop.

This Spiritual Dictionary Term is an excerpt from the Glossary of Dan’s book Navigating the Interior Life – Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God. To learn more, click here.

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About Dan Burke

Dan is the President of the Avila Foundation, the parent organization of, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, Divine Intimacy Radio and Divine Intimacy Radio - Resources Edition, Into the Deep Parish Programs, the Apostoli Viae (Apostles of the Way) Community, and the FireLight Student Leadership Formation Program, author of the award-winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God, Finding God Through Meditation-St. Peter of Alcantara, 30 Days with Teresa of Avila, Into the Deep, Living the Mystery of Merciful Love: 30 Days with Thérèse of Lisieux, and his newest book The Contemplative Rosary with St. John Paul II and St. Teresa of Avila. Beyond his "contagious" love for Jesus and His Church, he is a grateful husband and father of four, the Executive Director of and writer for EWTN's National Catholic Register, a regular co-host on Register Radio, a writer and speaker who provides online spiritual formation and travels to share his conversion story and the great riches that the Church provides us through authentic Catholic spirituality. Dan has been featured on EWTN's Journey Home program and numerous radio programs.

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  • LizEst

    Ah, this goes well with the recent topic of sexual thoughts. Thank you, Dan!

  • abandon56

    Thank you. Very specific. I’ve tried to express my desire for some kind of instruction for examen to various confessors. Maybe I wasn’t clear enough but never have received this kind of explanation.

  • There, Dan, you are talking directly to me. Can you all pray that I can be blessed with the Virtue of Humility to enable me deal more effectively with “the mad woman” in my house?

    • LizEst

      I’ve been praying for you Mary. So, I’ll pray for this specifically. Have you ever asked “the mad woman” who she thinks she is?

      • LizEst. This “mad woman”has many guises. She thinks she has power to be the Master of my Life, even though she has time and time again, failed to floor me these 74 years in two months’ time.

        At times, she is accusing me of having committed such grievious sins I am a perfect subject for damnation. At other times she comes to trick me that I am doing O.K. and I need not bother Jesus by going for Confession!!! She really hates me when I ignore her and faithfully go for my weekly Confession. The best guise she has is when I have a problem or I am down with a medical problem. Here she pounces by making me begin to feel so sorry for myself and even daring to suggest to me that God is punishing me because I am such a miserable sinner and an ungrateful old woman who does not appreciate how much He has blessed me all these long years He has given me on this earth. At such moments, LizEst, the Divine Mercy Chaplet sends her fleeing.
        Her cardinal presumptions come in the guise of always pushing herself forward and pereening her importance in my life – this is her Real Self now – she is that arrogant Puny Ego which afflicts all of us. She demands to be Numero Uno and to be thanked for all the wonderful things she has accoplished for me!!!! as if she is the one who created me and gives me each breath I take!!!! At those moments she is serving her Master, the Evil One.

        Oh, I tell you, LizEst, she has so many disguises and one has to be always alert to spot her disguised attacks.

        The frequent one she uses – and for which I ask for your prayers on this Website – is wild imaginations and debilitating self-doubt about the fidelity of my Faith and Trust in God. This one is the most painful which I have to keep on fighting day in day out. When I am exhausted, I just throw her at the feet of Jesus during my daily 3.00 O’Clock Hour Adoration and order her to stay there and not dare to follow me when I go for the Holy Mass. It is only Jesus who can subdue her and immediately she flees from me and I find peace of mind at last.

        • LizEst

          Mary, a priest wisely had me say, after every Our Father, the embolism prayer that is recited after the Our Father at Mass.

          It’s like a little mini-exorcism…and it goes like this:
          “Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil, graciously grant peace in our days, that, by the help of your mercy, we may be always free from sin and safe from all distress, as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.”

          If you like, give it a try. It has been very beneficial for me. It may be helpful to you as well.

          • Wow, LizEst. You have given me the Most Powerful Weapon to clobber this “mad woman” with the next time she tries to destabilize me. You are truly and Angel from Heaven sent to give me this Divine Prayer. God bless you

          • LizEst

            Mary, the glory goes to the Lord. I will endeavor to remember to thank that priest for you.

  • BHG

    My spiritual director suggested this sort of examination several years ago. It was very very difficult for me to get into the rhythm of it but now
    that I have it is almost impossible for me to imagine living without it. I cannot recommend this practice strongly enough!

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