Friday, July 07, 2006

Using a daily "Examination of Conscience" to help sanctify our souls

An Examination of Conscience

By Mercedes W. Gutierrez *

With the buzz of summer in full swing, it is easy to get swept up in vacation planning, traveling, and family festivities. But, just as we pause during Lent to allow for the spring cleaning of our souls, it is important that we stop during these weeks in Ordinary Time to reflect on where we’ve been spiritually and assess where we are headed.

St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), created a simple method for examining one’s habits that we, as lay faithful, can easily incorporate into our daily lives. Using his Spiritual Exercises, in particular his Examination of Conscience, we can follow these five steps toward greater sanctification.

In the first step of our examination, we thank God for all he has given us. How easy is it to spend an entire day running errands and never once stop to thank God for the gifts He has blessed us with that day? When we offer thanksgiving to God for His spiritual and temporal graces, we enter into a prayerful dialogue with Him.

Second, we ask God for the grace to know and correct our faults. This prayer of petition opens our minds and hearts to better recognize the areas in our life where we lack charity or have not allowed the indwelling of God’s presence. Just as Christ instructed us in the Gospel to “ask and it will be given to you,” we must ask for the grace to grow in holiness (Matt 7:7).


Post a Comment

<< Home