Make a brief examination of conscience before going to bed at night. Two or three minutes will suffice.
• Place yourself in the presence of God, recognising his strength and your weakness. Tell him: “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.”
• Ask your guardian angel for light to acknowledge your defects and virtues: What have I done wrong? What have I done right? What could I have done better?
• Examine your conscience with sincerity:
Did I often consider that God is my Father? Did I offer him my work? Did I make good use of my time? Did I pray slowly and with attention? Did I try to make life pleasant for other people? Did I criticise anyone? Was I forgiving? Did I pray and offer some sacrifices for the Church, for the Pope, and for those around me? Did I allow myself to be carried away by sensuality? By pride?
• Make an act of contrition, sorrowfully asking our Lord’s pardon:
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell; but most of all because they offend you, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.
• Make a specific resolution for tomorrow:
— To stay away from certain temptations.
— To avoid some specific faults.
— To exert special effort to practice some virtue.
— To take advantage of occasions for improvement.
• Pray three Hail Marys to the Virgin Mary, asking for purity of heart and body.