Look at that lovely, clean bathroom…

Since becoming Co-Master of My Own Domain (read: co-responsible for cleaning the bathrooms, among other things), I gained some transferable wisdom: faithfulness is a good thing. When I ignore the bathrooms until it’s time for Health Canada to shut our operation down, then cleaning them is a Big Deal. Gotta get the mask on, the strong cleaners, the rubber gloves, the elbow grease. I feel guilty and it’s generally a bad scene. But, when I stay on top of it (that is, when I make time for tending to the bathrooms weekly or sometimes daily, depending on the “adventures” that happen in there), then all that is needed is a quick and painless pass-through with a rag and some light cleaner. Not a big deal.

Clean bathrooms, clean soul
Faithfulness is a good thing. It’s much easier to stay on top of the battle to be better by frequently examining my conscience. The more often I do it, the more familiar I become with my weaknesses, with the sins that I struggle with the most, with the occasions during which I fall. Then, all that is needed is a quick and painless encounter with the merciful love of God in the Sacrament of Reconciliation and ta-dah: good to go, equipped with the Grace of God to start again.

If it’s been a while
It’s tough to clean anything that hasn’t been tended to in a while. I find that some good music and a glass of wine helps. Not that I’ve tried those while examining my conscience, but hey, I might start. It can be humbling. It can be painful. Jesus, I haven’t examined my conscience in a while. I’m not looking forward to it. Help me do a good job. Help me be thorough. Help me do it for love of you and those you’ve put in my care.

Helping children
Children follow our lead. When they see us taking advantage of the Sacrament of Reconciliation frequently, it can help them make it a normal part of their life, too. It also helps when we are humble and honest about our sins or mistakes. When we are merciful and gentle with them, they are able to imagine the mercy and love of God, who will always take them back, no matter what.

Online resources
The folks at Be An Amazing Catechist have shared a simple Examination of Conscience written for children. For adults, here is an old post that has two versions that are different from the usual format that is based on the Ten Commandments. A quick search with the terms “Examination of Conscience catholic” brings up a great deal of resources from online.