Tuesday, February 9, 2010


I have been trying to impress on children that doing a good Examination of Conscience is essential  for a good confession.

In class we talk about having a dirty face.  It won't do to try and rub here and there and hope you get the dirty spots off.  No - it is important to take a good look at your face so you can see clearly what needs to be washed.  In class we have a little image of a mirror - that mirror, we tell the children, is like the Holy Spirit.  Like a regular mirror would help you find the dirty smudges on your face, the Holy Spirit can help you find the dirty splotches on your soul.  That's why every Examination of Conscience is done with the help of the Holy Spirit.

Just as children are probably not that capable of washing their face or giving themselves a thorough shampoo at this age, neither are they able to do a good Examination of Conscience without help.  One help is a good set of questions, but the best help is a mom or dad or other adult who will lead the child in praying to the Holy Spirit, and then guide them in a systematic way through a thorough Examination of Conscience.

Here is a good one which I discovered on the internet.  A simpler one is available in the children's purple booklets, and a third is found in the parent handbook.  I am sure that many more excellent versions can be found on-line.

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