St. Francis de Sales gives a few practical tips on how to conclude your evening in prayer.
What is the best way to end your day?
St. Francis de Sales, in his book Introduction to the Devout Life, lays out a few simple tips on how to conclude your day with an evening meditation.
He begins by explaining that you should block out adequate time at the end of the day, recalling how you started the day with prayer.
Make sure of some brief leisure before suppertime, and then prostrating yourself before God, and recollecting yourself in the Presence of Christ Crucified, setting Him before your mind with a steadfast inward glance, renew the warmth of your morning’s meditation by some hearty aspirations and humble upliftings of your soul to your Blessed Savior … Repeat those points of your meditation which helped you most, or kindle your heart with anything else you will …Thank God for having preserved you through the day past.
After you have put yourself in the presence of God and given thanks to God, the next step is to examine how your day went.
Examine how you have conducted yourself through the day, in order to recall where and with whom you have been, and what you have done.If you have done anything good, offer thanks to God; if you have done amiss in thought, word, or deed, ask forgiveness of His Divine Majesty, resolving to confess the fault when opportunity offers, and to be diligent in doing better.
Many spiritual masters suggest this evening examination, ensuring that you will learn from your mistakes and repeat them tomorrow.
Once this examination is done, the best way to end your day is to offer yourself to God and rest peacefully under his gaze.
Then commend your body and soul, the Church, your relations and friends, to God. Ask that the Saints and Angels may keep watch over you, and with God’s Blessing go to the rest He has appointed for you.