EXAMINATION OF CONSCIENCE

But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall render an account for it in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.  Matthew 12:36-37

But the things which proceed out of the mouth, come forth from the heart, and those things defile a man. For from the heart come forth evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false testimonies, blasphemies. These are the things that defile a man. Matthew 15:18-20

Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth: and a door round about my lips. Incline not my heart to evil words; to make excuses in sins.  Psalm 140:3-4

And if any man think himself to be religious, not bridling his tongue, but deceiving his own heart, this man's religion is vain.  James 1:26

Rule, Chapter II, Number 10: Let them never take an oath except when necessary. Let them never use indecent language or vulgar jokes, Let them examine their conscience every night whether they have offended in this regard; if they have, let them repent and correct their fault.​

Constitution, Article 61: In accordance with the Rule, Tertiaries shall receive the sacrament of penance every month or even oftener; and, when possible they shall have a competent spiritual director. They shall, moreover examine their consciences daily, and correct the sins they have committed by truly repenting of them.

Gummermann Handbook, Section 245: As a remedy for the taking of illicit oaths and the use of profane, indecent or vulgar language the Rule prescribes for every evening an examination of conscience concerning these transgressions. This paragraph does not refer directly to the examination of conscience in general, but presupposes it as a part of a good night prayer and one of the practices of piety referred to in the eighth paragraph.  the Tertiaries are told to examine themselves whether they have used prohibited language through heedlessness. According to the Latin text it is taken for granted that Tertiaries do not offend in this regard with full deliberation and consent.  An impartial examen every evening will be a great help in getting rid of these faults of surprise. "If they have (done something of the kind), let them repent and correct their fault," or literally according to the Latin: "If they have, let them correct the error by repentance."  The purpose of the examination is correction or amendment. Therefore, if one finds himself guilty, he must make an act of contrition and firmly resolve to commit the fault no more. True repentance does not remain in the heart; it seeks an outlet in works of penance and reparation.  The performance of a self-imposed penance for every violation renders satisfaction and strengthens the resolution. The old Rule demanded the recitation of three Our Fathers for illicit swearing.  A serious examen and worthy reparation every day will gradually tame the tongue. 

Actus Contritionis

DEUS MEUS, ex toto corde paenitet me omnium meorum peccatorum, eaque detestor, quia peccando, non solum poenas a Te iuste statutas promeritus sum, sed praesertim quia offendi Te, summum bonum, ac dignum qui super omnia diligaris. Ideo firmiter propono, adiuvante gratia Tua, de cetero me non peccaturum peccandique occasiones proximas fugiturum. Amen.