EXAMINATION OF CONSCIENCE FOR PRIESTS

Saturday, April 19, 2014

H/T Fr. Peter Carota

1. “It is for their sakes that I sanctify myself, so that they, too, may be sanctified by the truth” (Jn 17:19).

Do I really take holiness seriously in my priesthood? Am I convinced that the success of my priestly ministry comes from God and that, with the grace of the Holy Spirit, I have to identify myself with Christ and give my life for the salvation of the world?

2. “This is my body” (Mt 26:26).

Is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass the centre of my spiritual life? Do I prepare well to offer Holy Mass? Do I devoutly offer the Holy Mass? Do I make an act of thanksgiving after Mass? Is the Mass the centre of my day in giving thanks and praise to God for his blessings? Do I have recourse to his goodness? Do I make reparation for my sins and for those of all mankind?


3. “Zeal for your house consumes me” (Jn 2:17).

Do I celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass according to the rites and rubrics established by the Church? Do I celebrate Holy Mass with a right intention and according to the approved liturgical books? Am I attentive to the Blessed Sacrament conserved in the tabernacle and careful to renew it periodically? Do I pay due attention to the sacred vessels and ensure their purification and conservation? Do I wear the dignified, sacred vestments prescribed by the Church? Am I conscious that I act in persona Christi Capitis ?

4. “Remain in my love” (Jn 15:9).

Do I enjoy being in the presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, in meditation and in silent adoration? Am I faithful to the daily visit to the Blessed Sacrament? Is the tabernacle my true treasure?

5. “Explain the parable to us” (Mt 13:36).

Do I carefully make a daily meditation and try to overcome all distractions which separate me from God? Do I seek illumination from the Lord whom I pray? Do I assiduously meditate on the Sacred Scriptures? Do I carefully say my habitual prayers? Do I prepare my homily and preach the truth even though I will be persecuted for it.

6. “It is necessary “pray always and without tiring” (Lk 18:1)

Do I pray all the hours of the Breviary every day in an dignified, attentive and devout manner? Am I faithful to my commitment to Christ in this important aspect of my priesthood, praying in the name of the entire Church?

7. “Come and follow me” (Mt 19:21).

Is the Lord Jesus Christ the true love of my life? Do I joyfully observe my commitment to love before God in celibate continence? Do I give in to impure thoughts, desires or actions? Do I indulge in improper conversation? Do I look at pornography? Have I allowed myself to be in the proximate occasion of sin against chastity? Do I observe custody of the eyes? Have I been prudent in my dealings with the various categories of persons? Does my life represent for the faithful a true witness to the fact that holy purity is possible, fruitful and joyful?  Do I offer Holy Mass in Mortal Sin?

8. “ Who are you?” (Jn 1:20).

In my daily life, am I weak, lazy or indolent? Do my conversations conform to a sense of the natural and supernatural that a priest should have? Am I careful to ensure that there are no elements of vanity or superficiality in my life? Are all my actions consistent with my priestly state? Do I wear the cassock or clerics? Can people see by my clothing I am a priest?

9. “The Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head” (Mt. 8:20).

Do I love Christian poverty? Does my heart belong to God? Am I spiritually detached from everything else? Am I prepared to make sacrifices to better serve God? Am I prepared to give up my comforts, personal plans, and legitimate contacts, for God? Do I possess superfluous things? Do I make unnecessary expenditure or am I taken over by consumerism? Do I use my free time so as to be close to God remembering that I am always a priest – even at these times of rest or vacation? Do I waste time on Facebook, the web, watching movies or TV?

10. “You have hidden these things from the wise and learned and revealed them to mere children” (Mt 11:25).

Am I guilty of the sins of pride: spiritual difficulties, susceptibility, irritation, unwillingness to forgive, tendencies to despondency, etc.? Do I ask God to give me the virtue of humility?

11. “And there flowed out blood and water” (Jn 19:34).

Am I convinced that when I act “in the person of Christ” that I am directly involved with the same Body of Christ, the Church? Can I sincerely say that I love the Church? Can I sincerely say that I strive with joy for her growth? Am I concerned for her interests, those of all her members and for the whole human race? Is Jesus Christ really my King I obey?

12. “You are Peter” (Mt 16:18).

Nihil sine Episcopo – nothing without the Bishop – was a saying of St Ignatius of Antioch. Are these words at the root of my ministry? Do I receive orders, counsels or correction from my Ordinary with docility? Do I pray often for the Holy Father? Am I in full communion with the Church’s teachings?

13. “Love one another” (Jn 13:34).

Have I been charitable in dealing with my brother priests? Does my egoism leave me indifferent to them? Have I criticised my brother priests? Have I supported those who are morally or physically ill? Am I committed to fraternal action so that no one is ever left alone? Do I treat all my brother priests and all of the laity with the charity and patience of Christ?

14. “I am the way, the truth and the life” (Jn 14:6).

Is my knowledge of the teaching of the Church as comprehensive as it should be? Do I assimilate and transmit her teachings? Am I conscious that to teach something contrary to the Magisterium, solemn or ordinary, is gravely abusive and causes damage to the faithful?  Do I withhold Catholic teachings out of fear of people getting angry and leaving the parish?  Do I let people dress immodestly?  Am I a priest who pleases people rather than pleasing God?

15. “Go and sin no more” (Jn 8:11).

Proclamation of the Word leads the faithful to the Sacraments. Do I regularly go to Confession? Do I confess my sins in accordance with my state of life and because of the sacred things with which I am involved? Do I generously offer times for the Sacrament of Penance? Am I available to the faithful for spiritual direction and do I set particular times aside for this purpose? Do I carefully prepare to instruct in catechesis? Do I preach with zeal and with the love of God? Do I make sure my parish’s catechism is Catholic doctrine?

16. “He called those to himself whom he willed and these went with him” (Mk 3:13).

Am I careful to promote vocations to the priesthood and to the religious life? Do I promote a greater awareness of the universal call to holiness among the faithful? Do I encourage the faithful to pray for vocations and for the sanctification of the clergy?

17. “The Man came not to be served but to serve” (Mt 20:28).

Have I sought to devote myself to others and serve them every day according to the demands of the Gospel? Do I give witness to the Lord’s charity by good works? Do I see the presence of Christ in the my Crosses and do I see in them the triumph of love? Is my daily activity marked by a spirit of service? Do I consider the exercise of my authority as a form of service?

18. “I thirst” (Jn 19:28).

Have I prayed and generously made sacrifices for the good of the conversion of the souls entrusted to my care by God? Do I discharge my pastoral duties? Am I solicitous for the salvation and sanctification of Holy Souls?

19. “Behold your son. Behold your mother” (Jn 19: 26-27).

Do I entrust myself completely to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Priests, with love and so to be able to love all the more her son Jesus Christ? Do I practice Marian devotion? Do I say the Rosary every day? Do I have recourse to her maternal intercession in my struggles with the devil, concupiscence, purity, and the world?

20. “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit” (Lk 23:44).

Am I solicitous in assisting and in administering the sacraments to the dying? In my personal meditation, in catechesis and in my preaching, do I give consideration to the Church’s teaching on the 4 Last Things (Death, Judgement, Heaven or Hell)? Do I ask for the grace of my own final perseverance? Do I ask the faithful to do likewise? Do I make frequent and devout suffrage for the souls in Purgatory?

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