This Examination was created by our US Bishops as part of a prayer service for racial healing in our nation.
“Conscience is the ‘core and sanctuary’ within us where we are alone with God and hear his call to ‘love good and avoid evil’ and ‘do this, shun that.’ Let us examine our conscience in light of the sin of racism, asking ourselves:
- Have I fully loved God and fully loved my neighbor as myself?
- Have I caused pain to others by my actions or my words that offended my brother or my sister?
- Have I done enough to inform myself about the sin of racism, its roots, and its historical and contemporary manifestations? Have I opened my heart to see how unequal access to economic opportunity, jobs, housing, and education on the basis of skin color, race, or ethnicity, has denied and continues to deny the equal dignity of others?
- Is there a root of racism within me that blurs my vision of who my neighbor is?
- Have I ever witnessed an occasion when someone ‘fell victim’ to personal, institutional, systematic or social racism and I did or said nothing, leaving the victim to address their pain alone?
- Have I ever witnessed an occasion when someone ‘fell victim’ to personal, institutional, systematic or social racism with me inflicting the pain, acting opposite of love of God and love of neighbor?
- Have I ever lifted up and aided a person who ‘fell victim’ to personal, institutional, systematic or social racism and paid a price for extending mercy to the other? How did I react? Did my faith grow? Am I willing to grow even more in faith through my actions?
I recognize that racism manifests in my own individual thoughts, attitudes, actions, and inactions. It also manifests in social structures and unjust systems that perpetuate centuries of racial injustice. For my individual actions and my participation in unjust structures, I seek forgiveness and move towards reconciliation. I look into my heart and ask for the will and the strength to help contribute to the healing of racism in my time.”