As the day comes to a close, a Christian should take time to thank God for the gifts received, make a spiritual evaluation of his day, and ask forgiveness if he has not used them well. He should pray for God’s protection during the night, entrusting himself into the Lord’s hands.
The spiritual evaluation is an effective means to verify your progress or shortcomings in decisive areas of your behavior. The habit of examining yourself rigorously and sincerely in God’s light will help you continually to improve and grow in perfection.
The evaluation should, first and foremost, place you face to face with yourself and with God in an atmosphere of prayer and conversation with Christ. The topic of this conversation is God’s will for your life and how you are carrying it out.
Begin the evaluation by asking the Holy Spirit to help you examine your conscience in God’s light and giving heartfelt thanks for the insights and graces he has granted you.
Then examine your fidelity to God, looking for your good points and your failures. Compare these to Christ’s example and to what the Holy Spirit is asking of you.
Practice humility and sorrow for sin; be absolutely sincere in admitting whatever faults you uncover. To conclude the evaluation, humbly ask forgiveness for your faults and make the firm decision to rectify the areas in which you have strayed from God’s will. Ask the Lord for his help to set out again encouraged, at peace, and trusting in his grace.
My Lord and my God, I thank you for the countless gifts you have given me, especially for creating and redeeming me, for calling me to the Catholic faith, for choosing me to be an apostle among my brothers and sisters, and for freeing me from so many dangers of soul and body. Enlighten my mind so I can recognize my faults, and grant me the grace to be truly sorry and sincerely mend my ways.
The following questions are suggestions to help you evaluate your day. It is recommended, however, that you draw up, with the help of your spiritual director, questions that correspond better and more directly to your current spiritual and apostolic situation. You may also use your mission card as a guide to examine your conscience.
To conclude the evaluation, take a few moments for a trusting, heartfelt conversation with the Lord: Thank him for what you have achieved, beg his forgiveness for the failings you detect, and ask his help to be better tomorrow. Then pray the prayers that follow. The point of praying the Creed is to profess the Catholic faith ever more consciously, and to ask God for the grace to bear witness to it openly and remain faithful to it in its entirety until the end of your life.
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
I believe in one God, the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.
I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages. God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made.
At the words that follow, up to and including and became man, all bow:
For us men and for our salvation, he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets.
I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.
Visit this house, we beg you, Lord, and banish from it the deadly power of the evil one. May your holy angels dwell here to keep us in peace, and may your blessing be always upon us. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
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