10 Suggestions For A Good Traditional Catholic Nightly Examination Of Conscience

It is Catholic tradition for priests, religious and laity who pray Compline, (Night Prayer) to pause at the beginning, and do an Examination of Conscience.  The purpose of this is to  look back over the day and see in what area of our life we might have sinned this day and in what way you can improve tomorrow.

Angel of Death_VERNET, HoraceSo I wish to list a few helpful suggestions to help us make use of this daily examination.

1) Follow Jesus.  Reflect on whether we lived our commitment to be a follower of Jesus.  How well today did we follow Jesus in our personal vocation as: bishop, priest, religious, single, married, mother, father, child, teacher, doctor, business man and any other occupation.  By the way I did or did not follow Jesus, in any way, did I set a bad example or cause scandal to anyone who knew I am a Catholic?

Anthony Abbot_Death of_VILADOMAT Y MANALT, Antonio2) Use Of Time.  How was my time spent today: well, disciplined, procrastinating or wasted.  Did I waste time watching TV, watching sports, going on Line, FaceBook, playing video games?

3) God’s Will.  In what area of my life today did I complete God’s will or did not do God’s will?  What kept me from doing God’s will?

4) Charity.  Did I love God above everyone and everything today?  Was I charitable or uncharitable with my family, friends, work companions or the poor.  Was I impatient with anyone today?

AtPrayerbyEdwinLongsdenLong5) Prayer.  Did I do my the prayers that I was obliged to pray today?  Did I rush through them?  Did I pray from my heart?  Did I make time to pray?  Did I offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with great devotion?  Could I have gone to the Latin Mass today?  Did I pray in a proper place? Did I allow worldly distractions to interfere with my prayers?

6) Fear.  Did I have sufficient fear of God today so as to not disobey or offend Him?  Did I allow fear of offending people to keep me from practicing my Catholic faith?  Did I allow fear of others to keep me from doing what God is calling me to do with my life?  Did fear, in anyway, obstruct my living a full and meaningful life?

7) Flesh.  Did I eat healthy today?  Did I get proper rest?  Did I give in to laziness today?  Were there any sinful sexual actions or thoughts that I willfully engaged in today?  Did I see pornography or show pornography to others?  Did I have custody of the eyes?  Did I dress immodestly and provoke others to sin?

Death of Dives+Lazarus_fol. 17v8) Tongue.  Did I gossip today?  Did I engage in useless chatter?  Did I give bad advice to anyone?  Did I use the gift of my tongue to share Jesus with others?  Did I say bad words?

9) Trust.  Did I live my life trusting that God was with me and protecting me?   Did I over worry about my health, finances, family or job?

10) Gratitude.  Was I grateful for my Catholic faith, my life, family, friends, housing, work, clothing, transportation, health and food today?

Triumph of Death_Danse macabre_France_paris_1500-10_BNF_Francais 995_23This is a simple list of things we can go over at the end of our day.  In no way is it exhaustive.  You can add what ever you would like to to this list.

Then we are try to have sorrow for the sins we committed today and make resolutions to amend our lives tomorrow.  It is very important to remember, that with God’s grace and our determination, we can live the holy life that God has asked of us.

Carthusian Rite ConfiteorEnd your reflection by saying the Confiteor.

I confess to almighty God, to bless Mary ever Virgin, blessed Michael the Archangel, blessed John the Baptist, the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, to all the Saints, that I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word and deed,  (beat breast 3X), through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault.  Therefore I beseech the blessed Mary, ever Virgin, blessed Michael the Archangel, blessed John the Baptist, the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, all the saints to pray to the Lord our God for me.