“May the Lord teach us always, every day, to make an examination of conscience. We should ask how we wish to present ourselves when we meet Him.”

– Pope Francis

I was proud that I really disconnected over the holidays. However, that feeling quickly dissipated when I realized how many things I told myself I would do, and then didn’t do, and then were due, as soon as I came back. As I was bombarded with a plethora of Zooms on my first day back (another rookie mistake I made), I became more and more anxious as my to-do list grew longer with every meeting I attended. One of my last virtual meetings was with three colleagues that I work with often and thankfully, quite well. Unfortunately, I brought my day’s baggage, and they were rightly confused. Let’s just say it wasn’t a good end to the day for anyone. Ironically, we were meeting to discuss an upcoming training event on feedback for our team, and there was plenty of feedback to provide after this meeting. Thankfully, my long-time colleague Emily and I debriefed a few days later. “It’s a good thing that meeting wasn’t recorded,” I joked. “Yeah, it would be hard to watch,” she said with a chuckle. We had been trying to think of some “real life” scenarios to use with the team and I suggested to Emily that perhaps this was the perfect one.

With a good sense of humor and academy-award winning acting, my colleagues and I recorded a reenactment of the meeting, and we used it as a fun learning experience with the team. As we discussed “the case” together, I was grateful for their observations and how it helped me learn about myself. I imagined what it would be like to watch a highlight reel from my day and get some feedback from those that I love and trust. It would certainly be painful, but effective!

As I started my nighttime routine with the Liturgy of the Hours, I was instantly confronted with the Examination of Conscience. I had read it during night prayer and recited it during Mass countless times before, but for the first time I imagined it like that movie. As a leader and a disciple, how comfortable am I stepping out of my character’s point of view and watching the whole movie? Am I confident enough to invite people to watch alongside and share their honest take of the highlights and the lowlights? If, and when, I examine my conscience, can I listen for the Lord’s take in my discomfort, my regret, or my peace?

Going forward, I decided to pretend that I got the message, “this meeting is being recorded,” even when it’s not. As we continue our journey through ordinary time, let’s make sure we don’t miss the extraordinary lessons that can come from regularly asking the Lord to show us how we’ve moved farther or close to Him this day. Prayers of courage to review your tape this week!

by Daniel Cellucci

January 26, 2024

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