Examen of Consciousness

I’m still mulling over that little book, Seven Sacred Pauses by Macrina Wiederkehr. Did I agree 100% with every paragraph and sentence? No. Would I recommend it? Yes, for those with discernment. Did I love it? Yes.

One of the parts that resonated deeply with me was a section called the examen of consciousness, questions to ask yourself at the end of the day to see if you lived deliberately and mindfully instead of simply existing.

These are good questions for each of us to ponder at the close of another Monday:

  • Have I been a good memory in anyone’s life today?
  • Have the ears of my heart opened to the voice of God?
  • Have the ears of my heart opened to the needs of my sisters and brothers?
  • Have the eyes of my heart beheld the Divine face in all created things?
  • What do I know, but live as though I do not know?
  • Have I been a good student of the hours today?
  • How have I affected the quality of this day?
  • Have I been blind or deaf to the blessings of the day?
  • Is there anyone, including myself, whom I need to forgive?
  • When did I experience my heart opening wide today?
  • Have I worked with joy or drudgery?
  • Have I waited with grace or with impatience?
  • What is the one thing in my life that is standing on tiptoe crying, “May I have your attention please?” What needs my attention?” (Macrina Wiederkehr, Seven Sacred Pauses)

Hopefully, someone has asked you one or more of these questions today. All of us need at least one person to hold us accountable and not let us off with pat answers to the tough questions. We all need someone who will call us out on our crap and who will hold us up to being our very best selves.

Next, I think I’ll tackle reading through The Silmarillion by J. R. R. Tolkien yet again. Wish me luck.


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