Examination of conscience
Examination of conscience: a daily task. Book-keeping is never neglected by anyone in business.
And is there any business worth more than the business of eternal life?
At the time of examination beware of the devil that ties your tongue.
Examine yourself: slowly, courageously. Is it not true that your bad humour and your gloominess, both without cause — without apparent cause — are due to your lack of determination in breaking the subtle but real snares laid for you — cunningly and attractively — by your concupiscence?
The general examination implies defence. The particular, attack. The first is your armour. The second, your sword.
Looking back on the past. To bewail it? No: that would be useless. — To learn: that is fruitful.
Ask for light. Keep on asking, until the root is laid bare and you can get at it with your battle-axe, the particular examination.
Your particular examination should be directed towards the acquisition of a definite virtue or the rooting out of your predominant defect.
'What I owe to God as a Christian! My failure to respond to God's grace, in the face of that debt, has made me weep with sorrow; with Love-sorrow. Mea culpa!
It is good that you acknowledge your debts; but don't forget how they are paid: with tears… and with deeds.
'He who is faithful in little things is faithful also in big things.' Words from Saint Luke that show you — examine yourself — why you have so often gone astray.
React. Listen to what the holy Spirit tells you: 'If it were an enemy who insulted me, I could put up with that. But you… tu vero homo unanimis, dux meus, et notus meus, — you, my friend, my apostle, who sit at my table and take sweet food with me!
On days of recollection your examination of conscience should be more searching than the usual nightly moment. Otherwise you miss a great chance to put things right.
Always end your examination with an act of Love — of Love-sorrow: for yourself, for all the sins of men. And consider the fatherly care of God in removing the obstacles in your way lest you stumble.