THERE are two kinds of examination (or examen) general and particular. The object of the first is to discover all the faults we have committed.
The second or particular examination has for its object one single fault or bad habit, which we have resolved to correct.
It is made every day in the following manner:
1. In the morning, on rising, resolve to avoid this sin or defect.
2. Toward noon, ask of God the grace to remember how often you have fallen into it, and to avoid it for the future. Then examine, thinking over the time passed since your rising, ascertaining the number of faults committed, and marking them by so many points in the first line of a table like the following:
Days of the Week
1st day _____________________________
2nd day ___________________________
3rd day _________________________
4th day _______________________
5th day _____________________
6th day ___________________
7th day _________________
This done, renew your resolutions for the rest of the day
3. In the evening, after supper, or at nightfall, a new examination like the first, marking the faults on the second line for the day.
1. At each fault against the resolutions you have taken, as soon as you recollect, yourself, put your hand on your heart and repent of your fall.
This can be done without being observed by any one.
2. At night, count the points of the two examinations, and see if from the first to the second you have made any amendment or progress.
3. Compare in the same way the day or the week, which is ending, with the preceding day or week. The lines of the record diminish in length, from the 1st to the 7th day, because it is reasonable to expect that the number of the faults should likewise diminish.
4. The subject of the particular examen should be ordinarily the predominant passion that is, the one which is the source of the greater number of faults that you commit, and which consequently is the great obstacle to your sanctification.
5. This examination on the predominant passion should be continued, until it is entirely overcome, or, at least, notably weakened.