My daughter made her Reconciliation at a special ceremony during Advent. Our church asked parents to do the preparation at home and provided us with the student book and teacher guidebook. That’s when I discovered that learning about an Examination of Conscience and walking your eight-year-old daughter through one are two different matters.
My daughter and I read the list of questions on the Examination of Conscience. I explained that we need to sit and think about the times when we acted in a way that would have made Jesus sad, because we weren’t behaving in the way He asked us to use His love and guidance. Perhaps a time that we lost our temper? Maybe we didn’t tell the truth. Maybe we were mean to someone or thought bad things about them.
We discussed each item, what it meant, and talked about possible examples. Did you honor your parents? Well, what about that time you screamed “I hate you” when I told you we couldn’t watch television that night. I deliberately pointed out that the commandment “Love One Another” does not exclude her sister.
Throughout the year my daughter had been learning the Sorrow Prayer and she was so proud to be memorizing it. I listened to her recite it and then asked her to tell me what she thought it meant – choosing to do wrong and failing to do good.
My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart.
In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good
I have sinned against you, whom I should love above all things.
I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance,
to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin.
Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us.
In His name, my God have mercy