I have used the following morning and evening examinations of conscience with great spiritual fruit for a number of years. I thought that I would type them up and make them generally available!
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***ON RETIRING AT NIGHT…
EXAMEN your day:
- Was I selfish?
- Was I dishonest?
- Was I full of resentment?
- Was I full of fear?
- Am I guilty of any other deadly sins, such as anger, lust, greed, jealousy, gluttony or sloth?
- Do I owe someone an apology?
- Have I kept something from someone that should be discussed?
- Was I kind and loving toward all?
- Did I think of helping others?
BEWARE of self-pity, morbid reflection, remorse and worry. You cannot afford it. It will only set you up to both feel and act even worse.
PRAY: Once we identify these faults, we humbly ask God to remove them. Here is a good prayer: “But who can detect his own failings? Wash away my hidden faults. And from pride [or name whatever sin] preserve your servant, never let it by my master. So shall I be above reproach, free from grave sin. May the words of my mouth always find favor, and the whispering of my heart, in your presence, Yahweh, my rock, my redeemer.” (Psalm 19:12-14)
AFTER MAKING THIS REVIEW, ask God’s forgiveness and inquire into what corrective measures should be taken.
***ON WAKING IN THE MORNING…
- Ask God to free you from self-seeking, dishonest motives or those that stem from fear, resentment and self-pity. Ask for the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
- Pull out your day-planner and discuss the day with God. It is one of the best prayers you can do.
- We no longer decide our fate – we relax, take it easy, and wait for an intuition or inspiration to fill us.
- We ask that God continue to show us through the day what the next step should be and the will and the means to carry that out. We ask especially that God free us from self-will.
I must decide that I will cease fighting anything and anyone – including God and myself. This combat only drains me mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, and decreases my usefulness to others. All that I have is a daily reprieve contingent upon the maintenance of my spiritual condition.
Based on monastic spiritual principles and the Big Book of AA.