Nov 27, 2022
This age-old practice keeps us humble and allows us to live life with integrity
It's easy to go through life on autopilot. We do the things we're supposed to do, and we avoid the things we're not supposed to do. But what happens when we live our lives that way? We become robots, going through the motions without any real connection to what we're doing.
Luckily, there's a way to break out of that autopilot mode: examining your conscience. When you take the time to examine your conscience, you get in touch with your values and beliefs. You figure out what's important to you, and you start living your life in accordance with those values.
That's why examining your conscience is so important. It helps you get in touch with who you are and what you stand for. And that can lead to a more fulfilling, meaningful life.
What Is Examining Your Conscience?
Examining your conscience is all about taking a close look at your thoughts, words and actions—both the good and the bad. It's a way of reflecting on your day-to-day behavior and seeing where you can make improvements.
It's not about judging yourself harshly or feeling guilty about your mistakes. Rather, it's about recognizing the areas where you can do better and making a commitment to do better in the future.
This practice stems from the Catholic faith. Catholics will do an examination of conscience before they go to confession.
Why Is It Important to Examine Your Conscience?
Why do you think it's important to examine your conscience?
There are a few reasons. First, your conscience is the voice of God inside you. It's the part of you that knows right from wrong, and it's the part of you that can help you make better decisions in your life. Second, examining your conscience helps you become more aware of your own faults and weaknesses. And third, it helps you to repent and ask for forgiveness for the sins you've committed.
All of these are important things, because they help you to become a better person. They help you to live a more holy life, and they help you to grow closer to God. So if you haven't examined your conscience lately, I encourage you to do so. It's an important spiritual exercise that can benefit you in many ways.
What Are the Benefits of Examining Your Conscience?
When you take the time to examine your conscience, you're opening yourself up to a world of self-discovery and growth. You're able to get a clear picture of who you are and what you stand for. And this, in turn, allows you to make better decisions and live a more authentic life.
There are other benefits, too. Examining your conscience can help you identify your personal values and principles. It can also help you to develop a better understanding of right and wrong. Plus, it can encourage feelings of humility and compassion.
How Can I Examine My Conscience?
Now that you know the basics of examining your conscience, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of how to actually do it.
The best way to go about this is to find a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted and take a seat. You can use a regular chair, but if you want to be extra comfortable, you can sit on the floor or in a recliner.
Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Once you’re feeling calm and collected, start thinking about your day-to-day life. Specifically, focus on your thoughts, words, and actions.
As you reflect on your day, pay attention to anything that makes you feel uneasy or guilty. These are the things you’ll want to focus on when you start confessing your sins.
If it helps, you can use the Ten Commandments or Seven Deadly Sins to guide you. My Catholic Life and Spiritual Direction are good resources. Deep down, your conscience will tell you how your life might be bending in a way that brings about suffering to yourself or others.
What Are Some Things I Should Keep in Mind When Examining My Conscience?
When you're examining your conscience, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
First, be honest with yourself. This is a time for self-reflection, so it's important to be truthful about your actions and their motivations.
Second, be specific. It's helpful to look at specific incidents and events rather than generalize about your behavior.
Third, take responsibility for your actions. Accepting responsibility for your choices is an important part of the examination of conscience process.
Fourth, seek forgiveness. If you've done something that you're ashamed of or that you know was wrong, seek forgiveness from those you've harmed and from God.
Finally, make a plan for change. Once you've identified areas where you need to improve, make a plan for how you'll change your behavior in the future.
In short, examining your conscience can be a helpful way to ensure that you are living a life in accordance with your values. It can also help you to identify areas in which you need to make changes. If you are a Catholic, you may find it helpful to consult theTen Commandments when examining your conscience. However, anyone can benefit from taking the time to reflect on their actions and choices.