Immersed in Christ: Monday, July 26, 2021
Examining Our Conscience
We can prepare for confession on different levels. The way that used to be most common was to go through a “laundry list” supplied in catechisms and prayer books, looking for anything we had done that the “canned conscience” listed as sins. These were usually concrete actions, simplistically cut-and-dried, and predictably superficial.
Since the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965), those who make regular use of confession have begun to go beyond the “checklist” examination of sins. They are much more likely to talk about what kind of person they see themselves becoming, using concrete failures as examples. And they tend to accuse themselves in more general but more inclusive ways of neglecting values not specifically in focus in the old days, such as involvement in social action, responsibility toward the poor, egotism and failures in personal relationship with Jesus and others.
Today, confession is most often an expression of concern, a way of acknowledging that one is seriously concerned about living the Christian life in a full and authentic way.