Night: The daily examination
In developing a habit of daily Traditional Catholic prayer, one very important time is just before going to bed.
This is an opportunity to spend a few brief minutes reviewing the day with the Lord. We call this the “daily examination of conscience.”
This simple exercise helps you see the events of your day from the perspective of a child of God. This really amounts to only three quick “words” to say in the examination itself.
Daily Examination of Conscience
1. Place yourself in the presence of God, and ask for his help in examining your day.
2. Examine your day (the three “words”):
“Thank you”: Thank the Lord for the blessings of the day.
“I’m sorry”: Acknowledge your faults specifically and directly.
“Please help me more”: Ask the Lord for help for tomorrow. Make specific resolutions.
3. Make an act of contrition (see below).
4. End with an Our Father and a Hail Mary.
It’s generally recommended to take only about 2 or 3 minutes for the examination part itself, or up to 1 minute for each “word.” A short time like this can help you keep focused when you’re tired.
Here’s a traditional Act of Contrition:
Act of Contrition
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell; but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.
I can’t recommend this strongly enough: The daily examination of conscience is an essential part of the Traditional Catholic life. Make it one of the first things you add to your pattern of daily Catholic prayer.
It helps you develop your awareness of how you’re doing day-to-day in your life as a faithfu; practing Traditional Catholic. Only by clearly seeing the details of each day, can we hope to improve.