Examination of Conscience
God will teach us what He wants us to do;
We will walk in the paths He has chosen. (Micah 4:2)
It is right and just to give God praise and thanks. It is related to poverty of spirit in that a truly poor person sees everything as a gift from God. We thank Him for the big things as well as the small things, the things we take for granted. Gradually we will see all as gift.
I pray for the insight to see myself as I am. I pray that God will reveal me to myself. I pray not just to see my sins and faults but for a broad understanding and discernment on how God is guiding me and affecting me. This comes with time.
III. Practical Exam
What is it in my life that needs to be changed. This is not something I choose but rather something I let God reveal to me. What does He reveal to me in Prayer...in life...in "having to go"...to be changed? This becomes obvious as we pray and listen to God in Sacred Scripture and become sensitive to the actions of God as He works in our lives. I look over my day, and reflect on what I learned of His ways in prayer. How am I cooperating? What is God asking? How is this affecting me?
IV. Contrition and Sorrow
This may be a simple "I’m sorry". This presupposes an experience of God loving me. It also involves a growing realization of my freedom to choice self over God. It involved small things, but small things are important when one is in love. If I have no sense of sin, I will not have a real sense of sorrow.
V. Look to the Future and With Hope
How do I feel about the future in the light of the past successes or failures?
When you know the area where God wants you to improve, be "brutally
practical" in looking ahead to situations when this will arise. It
will be experienced differently each time.
The examination is a prayer. It is not empty self-reflection, nor
excessive introspection. In prayer we learn the ways of the Lord.
In the Examination of Conscience we look to see whether we recognized Him when
He came and the how we responded.