03 January 2009

An Examination of Conscience

The following examination of conscience was found in the "Missal" of Sir Laurence Shipley after his death and reprinted in The Path of Prayer by Fr. Vincent McNabb.

Let me ask my heart how it stands with God!

Is God my God?

Or is He only one amongst many gods, vulgar or sinful, whom I strive to serve?

Is God the Sovereign of my mind?

Is the thought of God my sovereign thought?

Do I believe in God's Word more than any other word--- more than the beloved word of my friend, the imperative word of my country, the persuasive word of Art and Science?

Do I worship God, in body and spirit, at morn and night, by kneeling down to pray?

Do I pray?

Or do I merely say prayers when with but slight effort of mind and will I might pray?

Is it my lips only, or also my heart, that says: Hallowed be Thy Name?

Do I understand this mystic prayer when I say it---or am I glad not to understand?

Do I dwell with ease---or even joy----on the words Thy Will be done?

Do I hurry over these words lest God overhear them and take me at my word?

Do I trust God?

Do I dread lest He hurt me unawares if I give myself wholly to His keeping?

Do I expect and ask Him to do for me what He has already given me power to do for myself?

Do I thus ask God to serve me, if not in my sins, at least in my life?

Do I love God?

Do I love His way with me more than my own way with myself?

Is God at home in my heart?

Am I at home with God---always at home to God?

Does God dwell in my heart as in His own house, which He may enter and quit at will?

Have I cast Him forth from my soul by any wilful sin?

Have I been as much at ease after my sin as before?

Or have I been restless until, my sin confessed and forgiven, I have found rest in God?

Are the Sacraments of Penance and Holy Eucharist to me the outpourings of Jesus Christ's most precious Blood, to the cleansing and nourishing of my soul?

Do I often thank God, through Jesus Christ, for these and countless other gifts which have made the Church the King's Wedding Feast to me?

Do I still cling to this earth with its pleasant sights and sounds, or are my eyes straining to catch sight of the City of God?

If at this moment Death should knock at the door of my soul, should I treat its summons as an interruption, or an impertinence, or even a cruelty; or should I welcome it as a glad invitation to God's Wedding Feast?

Tu Solus Deus, Tu Solus Dominus.

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