Lord, Teach Us to Pray


Examination of Love 

We are created from God’s Love, in His Love and for His Love. Therefore, a Christian examination of conscience has to be an examination of love: we must look to Him and His love for us and think about how we are open to it. 

The beginning of wisdom is self-knowledge.

We can’t know ourselves in truth and depth if we don’t first place ourselves before the Mercy of God, His unconditional love for the poor, the weak, the sick and the sinners. It is only His Mercy that stops both the mechanism of defense or self-justification (covering up the truth of myself) and the great tormentor of the human soul, the guilty conscience. Guilt is useless when it doesn’t bring me to his Mercy, to conversion, and finally to his Love.

My spiritual life is a reflection of my choices, both internal and external. These choices are the expression and growth of my love for others and for God, and they are what either opens me to or closes me from his grace.

Self-knowledge through examination:

1. Ask God for light, wisdom and insight: Lord, send your light and your truth that they may guide me to you.

2. Give thanks to God, the Giver of every good.

3. Place yourself before his Mercy, acknowledging that your weakness is your power before Him. The goal isn’t to blame yourself; it is to understand what you have lost because you have not been open to His love and power. Ask for understanding that through your wrong choices your humanity has not grown, harming you as a person and your relationship with God, and with those He has given to you.

4. Reflect on the following questions:

• Did I live as God’s creature and child, acknowledging my dependence on Him?

• Did I let Him be my Good Shepherd, living in His Providence? Did I love Him?

• How have I opened my weaknesses to the Mercy of God my Father?

• Do I embrace my cross, following Jesus?

• Do I allow Mary to be my mother and to form my heart?

• How have I received those people God has given me as a Gift?

5. The final step in this examination of love is being more open to the Holy Spirit, who is Love, through repentance and a desire to change, so we can follow Jesus and love as He loves us.

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