How to make a “confession of praise”

in thought
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St. Ignatius advises this positive approach to examining our conscience.

Sometimes making a list of our sins can be disheartening. To see our own failures more clearly, it can be helpful to start with our good deeds and praise the Lord for His presence in our life. 

This particular method of examining conscience is called Confessio Laudis (confession of praise). Instead of assessing our sins through the prism of guilt and shame, it proposes we examine our own failings in the light of the many gifts the Lord has bestowed on us. 

Thanking God to better see our own failings

In his Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius of Loyola recommends thanksgiving as a place to start when examining our conscience: “Lord, I want to thank you because you helped me, I was able to become closer with such a person, I feel more at peace, I’ve overcome an adversity, I can better pray now” (Ex. Spir. n°43).

Praising God for His many gifts to us is to acknowledge that He has given us joy. Telling the Lord what has made us happy and thanking Him for His goodness and mercy will help us to see our own failings with more clarity.

Luc Adrian