Examining and Preserving Your Self and Conscience
By Archdeacon Habib Guirgus
Be like a smart merchant who audits his books and by the end of the day he knows what he gained or lost.
yourself and examine your conscience and heart very carefully to know if you
are progressing or retreating.
This is the right way to keep your peace for yourself and maintain your sanctity to avoid and prevent the alien thoughts from attacking your thoughts.
Be adamant about it everyday, lest you fall. Regret and repent everyday for any fault you made, and say; "we have sinned against the Lord our God" (Jeremiah 3:25).
Night is time to be free from your work, and your soul becomes calm and relaxed from the day's labor. During nighttime you should give account on all what you did, whether good or evil, what you did and what you forgot to do.
If you examine yourself and check it everyday, you can save your heart from any alien seeds, and protect it from any blemish, so you will not be like the owner of the field who was lazy ignoring it and allowing the thorns and thistles to grow with it, and when it produced crop, the tares also appeared to suffocate the wheat (cf. Matthew 13:26).
It is also written, "I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man devoid of understanding; and there it was, all overgrown with thorns; its surface was covered with nettles; its stone wall was broken down" (Proverbs 24:30, 31).
O beloved, toil the field of your heart everyday and clean it, for our nature is spoiled and does not produce but inclination to evil, and feel for evil.
Take on the sword of the spirit and truth, and pluck out all what's evil inside you. Beseech the Lord to pour on you the balsam of grace on the good seeds of your soul to increase your growth, to sprout and bring fruit for you as righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Do not neglect or disregard to examine all your works every day to see what you did, how you did it, and what you ignored and why, so you can correct and mend yourself. Rejoice with the good you make, while being far from boasting and staying away from vanity.
Be sorry, regret and weep over the evil you have done, or neglect your responsibility.
Repent while having before you the angel of hope, and be steadfast concerning about the new stand toward God.
Search for the big mistakes that have control over you, and pluck it out to be able to remove the rest of the vice.
Kill the leader to be able to overcome the soldiers. Cut the head of 'Goliath' then you will be able to conquer the rest of the 'Palestinians', and disperse them before you. If you are busy in searching and trying to discover a treasure, you will not be weary. The treasure of virtue should be sought through perseverance and patience.
Say with the prophet David; "I have pursued my enemies and overtaken them; neither did I turn back again till they were destroyed. I have wounded them, so that they were not able to rise; they have fallen under my feet" (Psalm 18:37, 38).
Protect yourself and secure it, by being vigil lest the enemy make his move and overcome you. Never belittle the trivial things; otherwise you will be opening a door for him to enter from. As the enemy who is attacking a city, tries to find the weakest place to enter through it, so is our spiritual enemy; he tries fervently to find a weak point in our souls to overcome each and every one of us. Be alert and cautious and protect the 'fence' of your soul. Be sure that you will not be a better Guard for yourself than the Lord Jesus, if you let Him dwell in you. You will never find a 'Tight Lock' for yourself other than Jesus Who is wise in His grace. Amen.
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