“A mirror only returns the reflection of what is on the surface. We, in first a very small way, must begin to see ourselves clearly. Through desiring purity, we will first begin to recognize, through daily examination of conscience, our habitual faults, our lax thoughts, our immature acceptance of responsibility. Don’t rely on your mirror.
An examination of conscience should cover these things:
First: God, let me see myself through Your Eyes. Help me to know how, through my imagination, through my ego and pride, I cater to what I want to be, not what I am.
Two: Help me to see where I have disappointed You in putting other things before You. Help me to stop using Your Name in places and in discussion profane.
Three: Help me to not just feel obligated to attend devotion to You on a particular day, but help me to understand the importance of my time with You, and desire to take advantage as often as I can.
Four: Reprimand me, God, refuse me favors when I do not honor You the way I should, in the best way I can; when I forget to be respectful to the parents You gave me, when I reject taking care of them.
Five: Help me to never kill another man’s purity or will or body. Help me to see my responsibility through example in these things.
Six: Help me, dear God, to reject impurity in the physical ways that are wrong and yet would only satisfy my ego and pride, my weaknesses and my vulnerability in desire. Help me to see, God, that when I partake in this sin against You, I involve not only myself but others too.
Seven: What have I stolen today? Another man’s dignity, another man’s ability, another man’s name, or have I stolen a physical thing for selfish gain?
Eight: Have I gossiped? Have I used others as sounding boards, to relieve myself of the need for self-discipline? Have I justified my opinion, causing injustice to another man?
Nine: Have I desired physically, the time, the body, the company, the attention of another woman’s husband, jeopardizing purity?
Ten: Have I, through greed, possessiveness, selfishness, desire, taken someone else’s property, physical or otherwise?
Never omit you are dealing with many facets of yourself each day: personal habits, mental capacities, desires; and lo and behold, your nature, your personality, your environment, your needs, your likes and your dislikes, your hopes, your dreams, your imagination, your faults, your sensitivity, your insensitivities.
What a complicated woman you are.1 What an exciting day it can be if you conquer your faults and see advantages to many things. Each day of our lives can be hope, not despair; can be stimulating, motivating, not depressed, irritating.
All of our actions, all of our life is motivated, carried through and accomplished by our will. Imperfections change, laziness turns into action, hope, by the mere change of our will. Our will can be our logic, our truth, our justice, our action. Our will can give us a life of hope, challenge, goal. Our will is a special Gift from God. We forget the flexibility of it, the privilege and the greatness it allows us to move in, act with, and reach for. Thank God for your will, for through your will, you will find Sainthood.”
1 This Teaching was delivered to the women in The Society Of The Little Way.