Pope Francis led a very practical exercise in discernment at the Wednesday general audience on this November 30, using the example of how an urge to pray (or the lack of one) can be good or bad.
In this context, the Pope warned about how the devil is devious:
The style of the enemy – when we speak about the enemy, we speak about the devil, because the devil exists, he is there! – his style, we know – is to present himself in a devious, masked way: He starts from what is most dear to us and then, little by little, reels us in. Evil enters secretly, without the person being aware of it. And with time, gentleness becomes hardness …
To unmask Satan’s devious ways, the Pope again urged an examination of conscience, which must be “patient,” but is “indispensable” – to see the “origin and the truth of our thoughts; it is an invitation to learn from experiences, from what happens to us, so as not to continue to repeat the same errors.”
Find the devil’s passwords
Pope Francis insisted that knowing ourselves is important.
The more we know ourselves, the more we sense where the evil spirit enters, his “password,” the entrance to our heart, which are the points to which we are most sensitive, so as to pay attention to them in the future.
Each one of us has their more sensitive spots, the weak spots in their personality: and the evil spirit enters there, and leads us down the wrong path, or takes us away from the true, right path.
Just 2 minutes
Francis repeated that a daily examination of conscience is essential:
Before ending the day, stop a moment. What happened? Not in the newspapers, not in life: What happened in my heart? Was my heart attentive? Did it grow? Did it go through everything unaware? What happened in my heart?
And this examination is important, it is the valuable effort of rereading experience from a particular point of view. Noticing what happens is important, it is a sign that God’s grace is working in us, helping us to grow in freedom and awareness. We are not alone: The Holy Spirit is with us. Let us see how things went.
Brothers and sisters, it is necessary to understand, to go forward in understanding what happens in my heart. And this is why an examination of conscience is necessary, to see what happened today. “Today I got angry, I didn’t do that…”: But why? Going beyond the “why” to look for the root of these mistakes. “But, today I was happy but I was bored because I had to help those people, but at the end I felt filled by that help” – and there is the Holy Spirit.
Learning to read what happened during the day in the book of our heart. Do it: It will take just two minutes, but it will do you good, I assure you.