Friday, May 16, 2014

Examination of Conscience and Confession

The weekend is near upon us, with its Sunday obligation. I urge all the readers here at Adoro to make frequent examinations of conscience, acts of contrition, and go to confession at least monthly. Of course, Mother Church doesn't require any of this. She merely demands that we confess once a year (around Easter is suggested) and that we refrain from receiving the Blessed Sacrament when we are in a state of mortal sin. A couple weeks ago, we looked at whether trying to skate by in the spiritual life is a good plan for the salvation of your immortal soul (spoiler alert: it isn't). And we ought to ever keep before the reality of Hell, which St. Faustina described in detail (HERE).

A good way to avoid joining the perpetually damned is to make a nightly examination of conscience. Before falling asleep take a few seconds to briefly go over the sins you've committed that (both of commission and omission), beg God for the forgiveness you don't deserve (but that He always gives), pick yourself up and plan on being holier the next day than you were the last.

There are many ways of examining the conscience. St. Josemaria Escriva (my 2014 patron) gives a novel one in The Forge:
Have I accepted in a spirit of expiation the difficulties which have come to me this day from the hand of God? Or those which came from the behavior of my colleagues? Or from my own wretchedness?
Have I managed to offer Our Lord, in expiation, the very sorrow I feel for having offended him so many times? Have I offered him the shame of all my inner embarrassment and humiliation at seeing how little progress I make along the path of virtue? (153)
Opus Dei

The key is to feel sorrow for your sins, to make a firm amendment of life (i.e. you won't sin again), and to never despair. God is bigger than any of our sins. Christ's death can wash away every sin ever committed by every man, woman, and child who has ever lived. Nothing we can do can ever be enough to separate us from His eternal Love, as long as we are willing (like the prodigal son) to give up our evil ways, accept the forgiveness God is pouring upon us, and decide to become saints.

I'll pray for you, dear readers, this weekend, that you might grow in holiness. I ask that you also pray for me. God bless.


  1. Wow, never saw that bit from The Forge, but it's excellent. I'll try to include that in my examen before next confession.

    1. That's the great thing about St Josemaria, every time I read him something new pops out that didn't strike me as much before.