Book Talk Tuesday, Introduction to the Devout Life, Part 2, Chapter 11
CHAPTER XI. Evening Prayer and Examination of Conscience.
AS I have counselled you before your material dinner to make a
spiritual repast in meditation, so before your evening meal you should
make at least a devout spiritual collation. Make sure of some brief
leisure before suppertime, and then prostrating yourself before God,
and recollecting yourself in the Presence of Christ Crucified, setting
Him before your mind with a stedfast inward glance, renew the warmth of
your morning’s meditation by some hearty aspirations and humble
upliftings of your soul to your Blessed Saviour, either repeating those
points of your meditation which helped you most, or kindling your heart
with anything else you will.
As to the examination of conscience, which we all should make before
going to bed, you know the rules:
1. Thank God for having preserved you through the day past.
2. Examine how you have conducted yourself through the day, in order to
which recall where and with whom you have been, and what you have done.
3. If you have done anything good, offer thanks to God; if you have
done amiss in thought, word, or deed, ask forgiveness of His Divine
Majesty, resolving to confess the fault when opportunity offers, and to
be diligent in doing better.
4. Then commend your body and soul, the Church, your relations and
friends, to God. Ask that the Saints and Angels may keep watch over
you, and with God’s Blessing go to the rest He has appointed for you.
Neither this practice nor that of the morning should ever be omitted;
by your morning prayer you open your soul’s windows to the sunshine of
Righteousness, and by your evening devotions you close them against the
shades of hell.