Friday after the Third Sunday after the Epiphany.-On the Importance of the Examination of Conscience.

Friday after the Third Sunday after the Epiphany.
On the Importance of the Examination of Conscience.


My God, I firmly believe that Thou art here present. I acknowledge that on account of my many sins I am utterly unworthy to appear before Thy sacred countenance. Yet, confiding in Thy infinite goodness and mercy, I venture to address Thee, to call upon Thy holy name, and meditate upon Thy commandments, in order that I may acquire a better knowledge of Thy holy will, and accomplish it with more fidelity. Wherefore enlighten my understanding that I may perceive what I ought to do or leave undone for the promotion of Thy glory and my own salvation; at the same time excite my will, that I may repent with my whole heart of my past sins, and resolve for the future to do all that Thou requirest of me. Grant me above all to know Jesus, my divine Teacher and Guide, more clearly, that I may love Him more dearly, and consequently labor, struggle and suffer with greater generosity and self-sacrifice in imitation of His example. Holy Mary, Mother of God and my Mother, show Jesus to me now, and let me study thy divine Son to the salvation of my soul. Holy Guardian Angel, keep far from me all distracting thoughts; my patron saint, come to my assistance. Amen.

Friday after the Third Sunday after the Epiphany.
On the Importance of the Examination of Conscience.

For a considerable time we have contemplated the events of our Lord’s childhood, wandering as it were in a beautiful garden, and admiring the fragrant flowers that blossom around His crib. We will now turn our attention to graver subjects, and meditate upon truths of practical importance for our salvation. In addition to your daily scrutiny of conscience, it is well at this season to make a more special examination. In order to convince yourself of the importance attaching to this practice, consider:

1st. The command God gave to Moses under the Old Dispensation. He enjoined upon him to make a laver of brass and place it before the altar and fill it with water, that the sons of Aaron might wash their hands and feet in it, that they might not die. This laver was provided with a mirror, in which those who washed in it might see themselves reflected. What a useful lesson for you! You are a Priest, a Religious. Several times in the week, nay even daily, you go up to the altar, not, as did the sons of Aaron, to offer incense only, but to receive the most sacred and adorable Sacrament, to celebrate the most sublime of all sacrifices. Now if the sons of Aaron were bound to wash themselves previously, lest they should be punished by death, can you venture to approach the altar without being cleansed by confession? Assuredly you cannot. But mark this: the brazen laver is provided with a mirror. “This mirror,” St. Gregory the Great tells us, “is the law of God, His commandments, in which the soul surveys her conduct, and if she is conscious of the stain of any transgression, she washes it away.” And will you, my soul, attempt to cleanse yourself in the dark, without so much as being able to see where the stains are? Would it not be folly to act thus, and is it not evident that as the mirror stood before Aaron’s laver, so examination of conscience must precede confession, and is of essential importance?

2d. Consider, as St. Bernardin of Siena calls on us to do, that the examination of conscience is such a momentous matter, and the knowledge of sin is of such great consequence, for this reason, because it was for our sins that Jesus Christ died upon the cross. Reflect, my soul, on the unspeakable sufferings that your sins caused your Lord; picture to yourself the Garden of Olives, the prison in the courtyard of Pilate’s house, the pillar of scourging, the way of the cross and Calvary itself; remember how in each and all of these places Jesus, the tortured victim, bore the weight of your sins and endured so awful a chastisement for them. If after this you are not convinced beyond a doubt, how thankless, how shameless, how inexcusable it is to pay little heed whether or to what extent you are guilty of sin, never seriously to scrutinize your conduct, then indeed you have every cause for apprehension as to your spiritual state.

3d. Consider well and meditate upon this one truth more: God will judge us, and oh how terrible are His judgments! Even the Apostle Paul trembled at the thought of them. But God tells you of a way whereby you may escape the divine judgments, for He says: “He that judgeth himself with just judgment, him will I not judge.” He places it therefore within your power to avert from yourself the awful judgments of God; you can do so by accusing yourself impartially and truthfully in confession. But whatever you consciously withhold, that will be brought up against you at the tribunal of God, and a false or faulty confession serves greatly to aggravate His judgments. Do you not now see plainly, my soul, how all-important is the examination of your conscience, how upon it depends whether heaven or hell shall be your portion? For how is it possible for you to judge yourself justly, to accuse yourself impartially if you know nothing of yourself for lack of any thorough self-examination? Wherefore do not be deterred from this by the trouble it costs you, but repeatedly tell yourself: Either I must judge myself now to my salvation, or God will judge me to my condemnation. Surely this thought will have the effect of stimulating you to make a daily and rigorous examination of your conscience.


My God, I give Thee heartfelt thanks for all the graces and all the light Thou hast conferred on me during this meditation. Pardon me all the negligence and the distractions of which I have been guilty, and give me strength to carry out the resolutions that I have made. Fortify me, that from henceforth I may diligently practise this virtue . . . avoid this fault . . . perform this action . . . to Thy honor. Help me to do this, sweet Virgin Mary; and if I ever forget my good resolutions, I entreat my Angel Guardian to recall them to my memory. Amen.


February Devotion: The Holy Trinity (also the Holy Family)

Virtue to practice: Humility

I vow and consecrate to God all that is in me: my memory and my actions to God the Father; my understanding and my words to God the Son; my will and my thoughts to God the Holy Ghost; my heart, my body, my tongue my senses and all my sorrows to the sacred Humanity of Jesus Christ, ‘who was contented to be betrayed into the hands of wicked men and to suffer the torment of the Cross.’ – St. Francis de Sales

An indulgence of 3 years.
A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if this act of oblation is devoutly repeated every day for a monh (S.P.Ap., Sept. 22, 1922 and May 12, 1934).
The faithful who devoutly offer any prayers in honor of the Most Holy Trinity with the intention of continuing them for nine successive days, may gain:
An indulgence of 7 years once each day:
A plenary indulgence on the usual conditions at the end of the novena (S.C. Ind., Aug. 8 1847; S.P. Ap., Mar. 18, 1932).


Novena in Honor of Our Lady of Lourdes

O ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of Mercy, Health of the Sick, Comforter of the Afflicted, thou knowest my wants, my troubles, my sufferings; deign to cast upon me a look of mercy. By appearing in the grotto of Lourdes thou wert pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary from where thou dost dispense thy favors, and already many sufferers have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and corporal. I come, therefore, with the most unbounded confidence, to implore thy maternal intercession. Obtain, O loving Mother, the granting of my requests. Through gratitude for thy favors, I will endeavor to imitate thy virtues, that I may one day share in thy glory.
R. Amen.
V. O Mary, conceived without sin,
R. Pray for us who have recourse to thee.

P.S. 33th day for anyone praying Total Consecration by St. Louis de Montfort that ends February 2nd!
The 9th day of the Our Lady of Good Success Novena.

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