Monday, December 23, 2013

Addendum to Examination of Conscience

Confession has often been the theme of my posts.  I thought I knew everything there was to know about Confession and the examen.  However, you're never too old to learn.  A friend gave me my Christmas present, today.  It's the book, 7 Secrets of Confession, by Vinny Flynn.  No.  I haven't read it already, but I did flip through it and something caught my eye.

p. 187  # 7, Pray for your Confessor.  He is instructed by the Church to pray for you, so you, in turn should pray for the light of the Holy Spirit to guide him.

I think every Confessor ends the session with "God bless you, pray for me."  I take it as a priests' "Have a nice day."  It's just a common platitude.

But it has never occurred to me to pray for the Confessor before Confession.  What was I thinking? Rather, I wasn't thinking.  Of course, that would be the time to pray for the priest hearing your sins, guiding you, trying to understand your motives, your contrition, your intentions, your disposition, etc..  That's when the Confessor would need prayers specifically to guide the penitent.  What a dummy I am.

So everybody, here and now, add "pray for your Confessor," to the top of your Examination of Conscience.  Everybody needs prayers.  Priests need prayers, especially.  But your Confessor, particularly, needs the guidance of the Holy Spirit to meet your specific spiritual needs.  May Our Father bless him; may Our Most Merciful Redeemer love him; and may the Holy Spirit guide him.  Mother Mary, intercede for him.