Author Topic: How do you approach examination of conscience with venial sin?  (Read 469 times)

Offline diaduit

  • Mary Garden
  • Feldwebel
  • ***
  • Posts: 2086
  • Thanked: 2436 times
  • Religion: Catholic
How do you approach examination of conscience with venial sin?
« on: December 13, 2020, 11:52:47 AM »
Do you have methods or routines?  daily examination, weekly or so on ?

I know how to do an examination of conscience and would be well trained in mortal sin obviously but I found myself thinking today of the line

'a just man sins seven times a day'.

I honestly find it hard to remember venial sins and need to be more aware of just how often I do them.  Is there anything I can practice to become more serious about my venial sins?
 

Offline Lynne

  • Thankful to be Catholic!
  • Mary Garden
  • Major
  • ****
  • Posts: 10032
  • Thanked: 4936 times
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: How do you approach examination of conscience with venial sin?
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2020, 12:27:38 PM »
This book is very good.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41142012-the-handbook-of-spiritual-perfection

Quote
Here's help for everyone who makes good resolutions, but who has trouble keeping them. According to the author, Fr. Philip E. Dion, your problem is probably not that you're too weak to be good - God gives everyone the help he needs to conquer sin. Rather, you may be struggling because you aren't taking full advantage of the many spiritual means that God has made available to help you live a truly holy life. That's why Fr. Dion wrote The Handbook of Spiritual Perfection - to show you simple ways that you can, by God's grace, start keeping your resolutions once and for all.
In conclusion, I can leave you with no better advice than that given after every sermon by Msgr Vincent Giammarino, who was pastor of St Michael’s Church in Atlantic City in the 1950s:

    “My dear good people: Do what you have to do, When you’re supposed to do it, The best way you can do it,   For the Love of God. Amen.”
 
The following users thanked this post: Michael Wilson, diaduit

Offline Jayne

  • Mary Garden
  • Major
  • ****
  • Posts: 13787
  • Thanked: 6123 times
  • Comic Sans Frontières
  • Religion: Roman Catholic
Re: How do you approach examination of conscience with venial sin?
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2020, 01:43:04 PM »
A book that I have very helpful on this topic is Frequent Confession https://www.amazon.com/Frequent-Confession-Place-Spiritual-Life/dp/1889334162.  I appreciate that it was written well before Vatican II.

Part of the book is an explanation of the spiritual benefits of confessing venial sin.  It is a highly commendable practice even if not strictly necessary.

Much of the book is practical advice about how to do it.    One is not trying to come up with many venial sins at a time. One works on one venial sin at a time, examining oneself for it daily and confessing it (approximately) weekly. Focus on having a very specific purpose of amendment where it is clear whether one has succeeded or not.  Eventually one makes progress in overcoming that sin and then can start the process with another.
Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto Thine.
 
The following users thanked this post: Michael Wilson, diaduit

Offline Miriam_M

  • Mary Garden
  • Hauptmann
  • ****
  • Posts: 7301
  • Thanked: 5478 times
  • Never have been "MiriamB"
  • Religion: Traditional Roman Catholic
Re: How do you approach examination of conscience with venial sin?
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2020, 11:48:32 PM »
Do you have methods or routines?  daily examination, weekly or so on ?

I know how to do an examination of conscience and would be well trained in mortal sin obviously but I found myself thinking today of the line

'a just man sins seven times a day'.

I honestly find it hard to remember venial sins and need to be more aware of just how often I do them.  Is there anything I can practice to become more serious about my venial sins?


This is the one I find most thorough.  It breaks it down by Mortal, Venial, and then Helps and Counsels:
http://www.catholicapologetics.info/thechurch/sacraments/adults.htm

A few years ago I did buy the book Frequent Confession, but I think the style (especially) I found uninspiring.  To each her own when it comes to aids, because the person who recommended it to me obviously did like it.  When I showed it at that time to my spiritual director, he also was underwhelmed because I think he takes more the approach of the book Lynne recommended, for which I read the Preview: motivation. The idea of motivation in the journey toward sanctification, which always starts with reducing sin, is something that all of the spiritual masters (Fathers and Doctors) emphasize. I think that's not just a stylistic question but ultimately practical as well.

Spirituality is what underlies morality, including venial sin.  I happened to have listened last night, coincidentally, to an audio sermon by Fr Ripperger -- just because it was on a playlist that I was taking in sequence. (It was more accident than anything else.)  It was one of a series of retreat talks with the theme of spiritual growth.  The theme is one I've heard and read often, from others: lukewarmness/complacency when one has reached the point where mortal sin has been essentially rooted out of one's life -- certainly with any frequency -- but a plateau is reached where venial sin persists, without progress in conquering it, because the soul is tepid and is attached to the pleasure of indulging in particular vices. 

He then brought up the point about motivation and said that true devotion to the Sacred Heart, because it's about burning with love, is one way to advance in virtue and break through stubborn complacency in "minor" sins. 

Why do I say all this when really you asked more about approaching the Examen? Because I think -- for my own self, maybe for others -- recognizing venial sin in its frequency and scope is tied into love (motivation).  This is why, for me, having a skilled spiritual director made my confessions way better (deeper and more honest) and also revealed the gap between lip service (I "want" to stop doing X) and actual progress.  Unfortunately, most Catholics are without such assistance right now -- although I've never considered spiritual direction a luxury precisely because it is connected with sin itself: recognition of it, the level of sorrow, and the confession of it.
 
The following users thanked this post: Lynne, diaduit

Offline diaduit

  • Mary Garden
  • Feldwebel
  • ***
  • Posts: 2086
  • Thanked: 2436 times
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: How do you approach examination of conscience with venial sin?
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2020, 03:50:31 AM »
I'll look into those books ladies and thanks for the recommendations. 

Do you all know your venial sins?  do you recognise them straight away?, I'm way too casual about them and I fear I don't even recognise them as such.  I'm aware of two repeat ones which have actually eased up a lot since I started homeschooling.

Miriam: lukewarmness/complacency when one has reached the point where mortal sin has been essentially rooted out of one's life -- certainly with any frequency -- but a plateau is reached where venial sin persists, without progress in conquering it, because the soul is tepid and is attached to the pleasure of indulging in particular vices.


This is so true Miriam.

 
The following users thanked this post: Miriam_M

Offline Lynne

  • Thankful to be Catholic!
  • Mary Garden
  • Major
  • ****
  • Posts: 10032
  • Thanked: 4936 times
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: How do you approach examination of conscience with venial sin?
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2020, 09:09:43 AM »
I'll look into those books ladies and thanks for the recommendations. 

Do you all know your venial sins?  do you recognise them straight away?, I'm way too casual about them and I fear I don't even recognise them as such.  I'm aware of two repeat ones which have actually eased up a lot since I started homeschooling.

Miriam: lukewarmness/complacency when one has reached the point where mortal sin has been essentially rooted out of one's life -- certainly with any frequency -- but a plateau is reached where venial sin persists, without progress in conquering it, because the soul is tepid and is attached to the pleasure of indulging in particular vices.


This is so true Miriam.

I have a predominant fault that I'm working on... Venial sins? I haven't formally looked at them in a while, thanks for the reminder.

I agree with Miriam, this

Quote
This is the one I find most thorough.  It breaks it down by Mortal, Venial, and then Helps and Counsels:
http://www.catholicapologetics.info/thechurch/sacraments/adults.htm

is very helpful. And it's free!

In conclusion, I can leave you with no better advice than that given after every sermon by Msgr Vincent Giammarino, who was pastor of St Michael’s Church in Atlantic City in the 1950s:

    “My dear good people: Do what you have to do, When you’re supposed to do it, The best way you can do it,   For the Love of God. Amen.”
 
The following users thanked this post: diaduit

Offline Miriam_M

  • Mary Garden
  • Hauptmann
  • ****
  • Posts: 7301
  • Thanked: 5478 times
  • Never have been "MiriamB"
  • Religion: Traditional Roman Catholic
Re: How do you approach examination of conscience with venial sin?
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2020, 02:58:06 AM »

Do you all know your venial sins?  do you recognise them straight away?, I'm way too casual about them and I fear I don't even recognise them as such. 

Answers to the two questions:  No.  I was thinking about this reality this morning -- that is, why it is true.  For myself, it's about the passions.  (Apparently, according to the sermon I mentioned, as well as many other sermons I have heard and spiritual material I have read, our failure to conquer our passions lies at the heart of our failure to progress.) 

Everybody is "governed" by different passions; my worst ones are not necessarily shared by people who have, or have had, similar difficulty advancing, now or at one time.  But no matter, it's less the category of passion than the attachment itself, which -- because it sweeps in like a silent storm when we're being tempted -- blinds us with its power and speed.

In addition, there is the reality that we grow accustomed to reacting/behaving in certain entrenched ways that are so habitual that they appear to be synonymous with our personality, but that's only the devil's deception -- to convince us slyly that we're merely of such-and-such temperament, and thus we (and others) should accept a weakness which leads us into sin, but a persistent bad habit is not a mere neutral quality of our inborn personality.

Many people don't know that the gentle writer and saint, Francis de Sales, was beset by a prominent tendency to the capital sin of Anger. But rather than surrender to it and excuse his proclivity to outbursts, he worked on it rigorously, to the point where he mastered temptation so successfully that even when others tried to rouse his anger, they failed.

Fr. Ripperger and many others speak about how God allows us certain defects not to prevent us from growing, but precisely so that those defects become the opportunity for our sanctification.

So back to your question, diaduit:  I recognize my venial sins way, way better when I have any director, let lone a great one.  He used to take the blinders off, at every session.  Quite humbling and quite effective.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2020, 02:59:40 AM by Miriam_M »
 

Offline Aulef

  • Hellebardier
  • *
  • Posts: 47
  • Thanked: 37 times
  • Religion: One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church
Re: How do you approach examination of conscience with venial sin?
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2020, 09:59:11 AM »
Examination of conscience should be done everyday. If memory isn't reliable, write down the sins, then hide the paper; and destroy it after Confessing.

I guess the minimum is trying to remember mortal and deliberate venial sins for they are the worst kind and easier to remember.

If for some reason the person doesn't realize they sinned, I think there is no need to worry so much. The punishment would be less severe for it wouldn't have intention.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2020, 07:02:39 AM by Aulef »
Tota pulchra es, Maria
Et macula originalis non est in Te
 

Offline Miriam_M

  • Mary Garden
  • Hauptmann
  • ****
  • Posts: 7301
  • Thanked: 5478 times
  • Never have been "MiriamB"
  • Religion: Traditional Roman Catholic
Re: How do you approach examination of conscience with venial sin?
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2020, 04:11:27 AM »
diaduit,
I forgot that I have also used this one:
https://divineheartofgod.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/eoc.pdf
(Venial sins begin on page 4)

and this one:
https://spiritualdirection.com/2018/07/05/an-examination-of-conscience-for-venial-sins

Regarding the comments that were made about examining it nightly: Yes, we are told to do that, and it's a fantastic idea, but again my honest insight into the day can vary, depending on how much I am shielding my faults from my consciousness.
 
The following users thanked this post: diaduit

Offline Miriam_M

  • Mary Garden
  • Hauptmann
  • ****
  • Posts: 7301
  • Thanked: 5478 times
  • Never have been "MiriamB"
  • Religion: Traditional Roman Catholic
Re: How do you approach examination of conscience with venial sin?
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2020, 02:53:01 PM »
Another good Examen, oriented toward the motivation concept I mentioned above:

https://www.princeofpeacetaylors.net/examination-of-our-state-of-soul-in-relation-to-god/
 
The following users thanked this post: diaduit

Offline diaduit

  • Mary Garden
  • Feldwebel
  • ***
  • Posts: 2086
  • Thanked: 2436 times
  • Religion: Catholic
Re: How do you approach examination of conscience with venial sin?
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2020, 03:44:49 PM »
I've bookmarked this thread for me to start with one and then follow on if I need to.

thanks agains :)
 
The following users thanked this post: Aulef

Offline Miriam_M

  • Mary Garden
  • Hauptmann
  • ****
  • Posts: 7301
  • Thanked: 5478 times
  • Never have been "MiriamB"
  • Religion: Traditional Roman Catholic
Re: How do you approach examination of conscience with venial sin?
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2020, 03:51:21 PM »
You're welcome.