Examination of Conscience

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pilgrimR

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Anyone out there have any suggestions about a good way to make a thourough examination of conscience? I try daily to do this, but don’t come up with many instances of sin. I know I’m not perfect, so why can’t I come up with any sins to confess? Must either be a flawed examination technique, or a seared conscience!

I’ve tried reviewing the large section in the CCC on the ten commandments, but that didn’t yield any more benefit for me. :confused:

Any suggestions? What prayer/thought processes do you use?

Thanks!
 
Here is what I try to do daily.

Take a quiet time, in a church or chapel is best, but any place quiet.
Ask and pray for the intercession of a saint. The Blessed Mother and John Vianney are two great ones.
Then go through your day, as much as possible minute by minute, or activity by activity.
Thank God for any blessings that you come upon and hadn’t already thank him for.
Find any situations you handled badly, gave into temptation, or let yourself be tempted. And pray about those.
Find any places where your conscious nags at you and then decide if they need to be confessed and remember them. Pray that you will receive the grace to recall them at your next confession.
You can even say an “I confess…” afterwards.

Hope this helps
 
The book written by Scott Hahn, Lord Have Mercy has an examination of conscience found at the back of the book in the appendix. It is quite thorough.
 
I find, for me, along with the actions I may have done that were sinful, there are more often things I failed to do.

Maybe I wasn’t as patient and loving with my children as I should be (failed to do) and sometimes my words were hurried and harsh (did); maybe I thought of a friend who is sick and should have called or visited but didn’t (failed to do); maybe I saw a homeless man on the street and thought about talking with him, but became scared (failed to do) and forgot to even say a prayer for him (failed). Anyway, I think you get the idea. I just think “How did I fail in bringing the love of Jesus to others today?”

Hope this helps!
 
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Yirmeyahu:
The book written by Scott Hahn, Lord Have Mercy has an examination of conscience found at the back of the book in the appendix. It is quite thorough.
Thank you! I’ve just requested the book on line from my local library!

God bless you!
 
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Didi:
I find, for me, along with the actions I may have done that were sinful, there are more often things I failed to do.



Hope this helps!
Yes, it does help. I have a hard time deciding whether to consider some of those things as sins, e.g. failing to stop to help a homeless person I pass. I think to myself, that perhaps I would be scrupulous or something to bring up things like that in the confessional. Perhaps I should confess what my conscience tells me is sinful and wait until I’m cautioned about scruples to worry about it!
 
Taken from my Handbook of Prayers put out by Scepter Press this is a very good examination of conscience before going to bed which I’m assuming you are referring to when you say a daily one…. before going to bed is the best time for me.
  • Place yourself in the presence of God, recognizing his strength and your weakness. Tell him: “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.”
  • Ask your guardian angel for light to acknowledge your defects and virtues: What have I done wrong? What I have done right? What could I have done better?
  • Examine your conscience with sincerity: Did I often consider that God is my Father? Did I offer him my work? Did I make good use of my time? Did I pray slowly and with attention? Did I try to make life pleasant for other people? Did I criticize anyone? Was I forgiving? Did I pray and offer some sacrifices for the Church, for the pope, and for those around me? Did I allow myself to be carried away by sensuality? By pride?
Hope this helps:) God Bless!
 
I would just like to add that the more you practice examining your conscience and participating regularly in the Sacrament of Penance, the more God will enlighten you to the reality of your sins. I have been amazed that I am now confessing things that I would never have considered sinful a few years ago. The light of grace illuminates the soul.
 
If you ever get to this point you will have to make an examination every night in the Divine Office, a.k.a. The Liturgy of the Hours (The one book Christian Prayer is an easier, more time friendly source for these prayers).

Also the previous response is right on the money. The more you do it, the better you become at doing it naturally without much effort. It becomes a real, living part of your spirituality.

Your unworthy brother in Christ and by the Grace of God a future priest,

Donnchadh
 
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