Honesty is an integral part of humility, which means saying yes to our humanness, accepting both the agony and the ecstasy of our creaturehood. We are of the earth—humus—and are called to embrace the totality of who we are. To accept our limitations and fulfill our potential takes courage. Humility—accepting the truth—requires honesty.
Honesty and humility demand surrender or a letting go of our desire for control, security, esteem, and approval. Honesty and humility call us to reflect, as Ignatius did, on the patterns of our life that deflect us from the way of Christ. Thus, the examination of conscience became integral to the spirituality of Ignatius. He encouraged those who came to him for direction and confession to persist in a thorough examination of their soul. This examination of conscience that Ignatius developed and expanded as the examen of consciousness is basic and foundational for authentic inner healing.
Ignatius identified and named his sinfulness on the way to aligning his intention with the intention of God present within him. Only God’s love and grace made this possible.
This same love and grace is available to us. With confidence in God’s help, we can look forward to the freedom brought by God’s forgiveness and by honesty with ourselves.
—Excerpted from Praying with Ignatius of Loyola by Jacqueline Bergan and Marie Schwan, CSJ