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Letter to Priests (2012)

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Examination of Conscience for Priests
1. "It is for their sakes that I sanctify myself, so that they, too, may be sanctified by the truth" (Jn 17:19).
: * Do I really take holiness seriously in my priesthood?: * Am I convinced that the success of my priestly ministry comes from God and that, with the grace of the Holy Spirit, I have to identify myself with Christ and give my life for the salvation of the world?
2. "This is my body" (Mt 26:26).
: * Is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass the center of my spiritual life?: * Do I prepare well to celebrate Mass?: * Do I devoutly celebrate the Mass?: * Do I make an act of thanksgiving after Mass?: * Is the Mass the center of my day in giving thanks and praise to God for his blessings?: * Do I have recourse to his goodness?: * Do I make reparation for my sins and for those of all mankind?
3. "Zeal for your house consumes me" (Jn 2:17).
: * Do I celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass according to the rites and rubrics established by the Church?: * Do I celebrate Holy Mass with a right intention and according to the approved liturgical books?: * Am I attentive to the sacred species conserved in the tabernacle and careful to renew it periodically?: * Do I pay due attention to the sacred vessels and ensure their conservation?: * Do I wear in a dignified fashion all of the sacred vestments prescribed by the Church?: * Am I conscious that I act in ''persona Christi Capitis''?
4. "Remain in my love" (Jn 15:9).
: * Do I enjoy being in the presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, in meditation and in silent adoration?: * Am I faithful to the daily visit to the Blessed Sacrament?: * Is the tabernacle my true treasure?
5. "Explain the parable to us" (Mt 13:36).
: * Do I carefully make a daily meditation and try to overcome all distractions that separate me from God?: * Do I seek illumination from the Lord whom I serve?: * Do I assiduously meditate on the Sacred Scriptures?: * Do I carefully say my habitual prayers?
6. It is necessary to "pray always and without tiring" (Lk 18:1).
: * Do I celebrate the Liturgy of the Hours every day in an integral, dignified, attentive and devout manner?: * Am I faithful to my commitment to Christ in this important aspect of my ministry, praying in the name of the entire Church?
7. "Come and follow me" (Mt 19:21).
: * Is the Lord Jesus Christ the true love of my life?: * Do I joyfully observe my commitment to love before God in celibate continence?: * Am I given to impure thoughts, desires or actions?: * Do I indulge in improper conversation?: * Have I allowed myself to be in the proximate occasion of sin against chastity?: * Do I observe custody of the eyes?: * Have I been prudent in my dealings with the various categories of persons?: * Does my life represent for the faithful a true witness to the fact that holy purity is po ssible, fruitful and joyful?
8. "Who are you?" (Jn 1:20).
: * In my daily life, am I weak, lazy or indolent?: * Do my conversations conform to a sense of the natural and supernatural that a priest should have?: * Am I careful to ensure that there are no elements of vanity or superficiality in my life?: * Are all my actions consistent with my priestly state?
9. "The Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head" (Mt. 8:20).
: * Do I love Christian poverty?: * Does my heart belong to God?: * Am I spiritually detached from everything else?: * Am I prepared to make sacrifices to better serve God?: * Am I prepared to give up my comforts, personal plans, and legitimate contacts, for God?: * Do I possess superfluous things?: * Do I make unnecessary expenditure or am I taken over by consumerism?: * Do I use my free time so as to be close to God remembering that I am always a priest--even at these times of rest or vacation?
10. "You have hidden these things from the wise and learned and revealed them to mere children" (Mt 11:25).
: * Am I guilty of the sins of pride: * spiritual difficulties, susceptibility, irritation, unwillingness to forgive, tendencies to despondency, etc.?: * Do I ask God to give me the virtue of humility?
11. "And there flowed out blood and water" (Jn 19:34).
: * Am I convinced that when I act "in the person of Christ" I am directly involved with the same Body of Christ, the Church?: * Can I sincerely say that I love the Church?: * Can I sincerely say that I strive with joy for her growth?: * Am I concerned for her interests, those of all her members and for the whole human race?
12. "You are Peter" (Mt 16:18).
: * ''Nihil sine Episcopo''--nothing without the Bishop--was a saying of St Ignatius of Antioch. A re these words at the root of my ministry?: * Do I receive orders, counsels or correction from my Ordinary with docility?: * Do I pray often for the Holy Father?: * Am I in full communion with his teaching and intentions?
13. "Love one another" (Jn 13:34).
: * Have I been charitable in dealing with my brother priests?: * Does my egoism leave me indifferent to them?: * Have I criticized my brother priests?: * Have I supported those who are morally or physically ill?: * Am I committed to fraternal action so that no one is ever left alone?: * Do I treat all my brother priests and all of the laity with the charity and patience of Christ?
14. "I am the way, the truth and the life" (Jn 14:6).
: * Is my knowledge of the teaching of the Church as comprehensive as it should be?: * Do I assimilate and transmit her teachings?: * Am I conscious that to teach something contrary to the Magisterium, solemn or ordinary, is gravely abusive and causes damage to the faithful?
15. "Go and sin no more" (Jn 8:11).
: * Proclamation of the Word leads the faithful to the Sacraments. Do I regularly go to Confession?: * Do I frequently go to Confession in accordance with my state of life and because of the sacred things with which I am involved?: * Do I generously celebrate the Sacrament of Penance?: * Am I reasonably available to the faithful for spiritual direction and do I set particular times aside for this purpose?: * Do I carefully prepare to instruct in catechesis?: * Do I preach with zeal and with the love of God?
16. "He called those to himself whom he willed and these went with him" (Mk 3:13).
: * Am I careful to promote vocations to the priesthood and to the religious life?: * Do I promote a greater awareness of the universal call to holiness among the faithful?: * Do I encourage the faithful to pray for vocations and for the sanctification of the clergy?
17. "The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve" (Mt 20:28).
: * Have I sought to devote myself to others and serve them every day according to the demands of the Gospel?: * Do I give witness to the Lord’s charity by good works?: * Do I see the presence of Christ in the Cross and do I see in it the triumph of love?: * Is my daily activity marked by a spirit of service?: * Do I consider the exercise of authority as a form of service?
18. "I thirst" (Jn 19:28).
: * Have I prayed and generously made sacrifices for the good of the souls entrusted to my care by God?: * Do I discharge my pastoral duties?: * Am I solicitous for the Holy Souls?
19. "Behold your son. Behold your mother" (Jn 19: 26-27).
: * Do I entrust myself, full of hope, to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Priests, through love and to love all the more her son Jesus Christ?: * Do I practice Marian devotion?: * Do I say the Rosary every day?: * Do I have recourse to her maternal intercession in my struggles with the devil, concupiscence, and the world?
20."Father, into your hands I commend my spirit" (Lk 23:44).
: * Am I solicitous in assisting and in administering the sacraments to the dying?: * In my personal meditation, in catechesis and in my ordinary preaching, do I give consideration to the Church’s teaching on the Last Things?: * Do I ask for the grace of perseverance?: * Do I ask the faithful to do likewise?: * Do I make frequent and devout suffrage for the souls of the faithful departed?
== References ==

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