I wanted to share this beautiful meditation from today's The Word Among Us reflection. These are always well done and this one is no exception.
This is an adaption of the examination of conscience that St. Ignatius Loyola recommended for daily use. This simple, five-part prayer helps reveal where God has worked in your life, as well as where you’ve fallen short. And having studied these divine “footprints,” you’ll see more clearly where to walk in the future.
1. Begin by thanking God for his blessings, great and small. Let your mind recall events and experiences from the past year, and express your gratitude. “Bless his name,” as today’s psalm says (Psalm 96:2).“Lord, how can I thank you for your goodness to me? What return can I make for your love?”
2. Ask for the grace to know your-self—especially to know your sins and be rid of them. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you see what should be brought to light and to know how greatly God cherishes you.
3. Now review the year in more detail, month by month. (If you kept a journal or marked events on a calendar, these could help jog your memory.) Consider the highs and lows, the victories and defeats. Ask: Where did I experience God’s presence and accept his invitation? Where did I turn away? Where could I have been more loving? More open? Where did I respond to the Spirit?
4. If you turned up some faults and failings (and who doesn’t!), ask God’s forgiveness. Plan to go to confession and, if need be, to make things right with anyone you’ve wronged.
5. Now it’s time for resolutions! Enlightened by your backward look, you can move forward to set good goals for 2012. Do it with confidence, for the God who poured out his grace in the past is with you to make this a year of grace upon grace.