Examination of Conscience

The examination of our conscience is like stepping back and looking at the picture of our life in comparison to the masterpiece of life revealed by God.

Remember when we were children, we used to trace pictures. Tracing helped us learn to draw. We would take a piece of plain paper, hold it over the original picture, and then put it up to the window. The light would enable us to trace the original picture onto our blank sheet of paper. Periodically, we had to stop and step back to see if our paper had slipped and was out of kilter with the original or if we had deviated from the lines.

In a similar way, as we live our lives, we are tracing them in accord with God's pattern of life. In examining our consciences, we step back and honestly assess how well we fit God's pattern and have stayed within His boundaries.

We need to hold up our life to the pattern of life God has revealed for us to live. For instance, we take time to reflect on the 10 Commandments, the Beatitudes, the precepts of the Church, and the virtues of prudence, fortitude, temperance, and justice. We have a couple of examinations of conscience to help guide children, youth, teens and adults prepare for Confession.

- Written by Very Reverend William P. Saunders

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