The Evening Exercise and Examination of Conscience

October 10, 2021 • 2 min

From Introduction to the Devout Life, page 62
By St. Francis de Sales


The Evening Exercise and Examination of Conscience.

As you have nourished your soul in the morning with the heavenly bread of meditation so you must also make a devout supper.

Take, then, some little opportunity before supper, to prostrate yourself before God, and recollect yourself in the presence of Jesus Christ crucified, whom you may represent to yourself by a single consideration, and an interior glance of the eye, and kindle again in your heart the fire of your morning meditation, by several lively aspirations, humiliations, and loving efforts, which you shall make to this Divine Saviour of your soul; or else, by repeating portions of your morning meditation, which you relished most, or by stirring yourself up to devotion, by some new spiritual subject, as you may like best.

As to the examination of conscience, which must always be made before bedtime, everyone knows how it is to be performed.

  1. We give thanks to God for having preserved us during the day.

  2. We examine how we have behaved ourselves during the entire course of the day; and to do this the more easily, we may consider where we have been, in whose company, and in what business we have been employed.

  3. If we find that we have done anything good, we must thank God for it; or if, on the other hand, we have done any evil, whether in thought, word, or deed, we must ask pardon of his Divine Majesty, firmly resolving to amend and confess it the first opportunity.

  4. We afterwards recommend to the protection of Divine Providence our soul and body, the Holy Church, and our parents and friends; and, finally, we beg of the Blessed Virgin, of our angel guardian, and of the saints, to watch over us, and pray for us; and thus, with the blessing of God, we go to take the rest which his will has appointed for us.

This exercise, as well as that for the morning, must never be forgotten; as by that of the morning you open the windows of your soul to the light of the Sun of Justice, so by that of the evening you close them against the darkness of hell.

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