Tuesday, November 22, 2005

A Marian / Advent Examination of Conscience

Below is an examination of conscience written by Diana Macalintal based on the scripture passage of the Visitation and the Magnificat (Luke 1:39-56). It would be appropriate for use at reconciliation liturgies during Advent.

Reader:
Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. [pause]
  • Have we greeted one another with curses instead of blessings?
  • Have we borne bitter fruit in our thoughts, words, and deeds? [pause]
Holy Mary...

All:
...Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.

Reader:
And how does this happen to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? [pause]
  • Have we denied our own worth or the worth of others, disbelieving that God is present in ourselves or in others?
  • Have we missed the presence of God because we are too busy, too hurried, or too anxious?
    [pause]
Holy Mary...

All:
...Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.

Reader:
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. [pause]
  • Have we closed our ears to the sound of God’s voice coming from unexpected people, places, and encounters?
  • Have we grown so serious that we cannot leap for joy? [pause]
Holy Mary...

All:
...Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.

Reader:
Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled. [pause]
  • Have we lost hope and faith in each other, in ourselves, in our church, in our world, in our communities?
  • Do we prevent the Word from being fulfilled by our apathy, passive-aggressiveness, despair, or complacency? [pause]
Holy Mary...

All:
...Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.

Reader:
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. [pause]
  • Does my very being, my very presence preach the goodness of God?
  • Do I sing, dance, play, and rejoice with others as often as I can? [pause]
Holy Mary...

All:
...Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.

Reader:
For he has looked upon his handmaid's lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed. [pause]
  • Who have we looked down upon because of their particular spirituality, lifestyle, political party, educational background, or economic wealth or poverty?
  • How has our need to help the lowly dominated their need to know the dignity of helping themselves? [pause]
Holy Mary...

All:
...Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.

Reader:
The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. [pause]
  • When have we taken credit for what we have not done?
  • When have we denied our own participation in the evil that our communities, church, families, countries, or other associations have done? [pause]
Holy Mary...

All:
...Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.

Reader:
His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him. [pause]
  • Have we lost our sense of mercy and compassion so that nothing ever angers or sickens us?
  • Have we lost our sense of fear, awe, and reverence that nothing ever moves us at our core? [pause]
Holy Mary...

All:
...Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.

Reader:
He has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart. [pause]
  • Have we been secretly arrogant?
  • Have we used our own power, status, education, or religion to put others down, even in the silence of our hearts?
    [pause]
Holy Mary...

All:
...Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.

Reader:
He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly. [pause]
  • Have we done all we can to participate in and influence the political life of our cities, states, and nations?
  • Have we been afraid to be prophetic and revolutionary even at the cost of our own comfort? [pause]
Holy Mary...

All:
...Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.

Reader:
The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty. [pause]
  • Have we become gluttonous for praise, solitude, piety, or the safety of those who are like us?
  • Who have we sent away empty, without our acknowledgment, thanks, care, or gratitude? [pause]
Holy Mary...

All:
...Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.

Reader:
He has helped Israel his servant, remembering his mercy, according to his promise to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever. [pause]
  • Have we refused to give help and mercy?
  • Have we broken our promises?
  • Will we leave this world a more merciful, just, and beautiful place for our descendants? [pause]
Holy Mary...

All:
...Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.