Conscience Examination as Church Renovation: An Architectural Guide to the Spiritual Life
Fr. Daniel Scheidt—Queen of Peace Parish—Advent 2011
Baptismal Font [Nov. 27-28] Who am I to the world? What do I witness to be most important? Who am I to Christ? How can I be more peacefully immersed in His life rather than drowning in my own preoccupations?
Confessional [Nov. 29-30] Where in my life do I need to seek God’s mercy? How in my life do I need to share God’s mercy?
Welcome Portal and Doors of the Church [Dec. 1-2] How is my Catholic identity visible in its beauty? How is my life an open invitation for others “outside the Church” to come into the life of the Church and find their true home?
Bell Tower [Dec. 3-4] How do I survey the passing of the world from the highest perspective, the Lord’s perspective, rather than from that of other people, or the media, or advertisers? What melody does the ringing of my life play?
The Nave (Interior Space) and Cruciform Shape of the Church [Dec. 5-6] How do I accommodate the wide variety of people in my life—old friend and potential new friend, those I dislike, the faithful and the lost? Where is my natural family located in my spiritual family?
Foundation and Pillars of the Church [Dec. 7-8] Who are the supports—visible and invisible—of my faith and mission in life? Who from the past, and in the present, supports (or bears the weight!) of my life and work?
Saints in the Stained Glass Windows and Statuary [Dec. 9-10] Who in my family of earth and our extended family of Heaven surrounds my life and radiantly shines with the love of Christ? Who in my solitude most reminds me that I am never alone in the spiritual life?
Bishop’s Cathedra (Seat of Authority) [Dec. 11-12] How do I relate to those above me in authority? To those below me in authority?
Stations of the Cross [Dec. 13-14] How recently has my life most palpably felt like a Way of the Cross? What have been the heaviest burdens and sufferings of my life and mission?
Tabernacle [Dec. 15-16] When are the still points—and where is the contemplative center—of my life with Christ? How, like the Blessed Sacrament, is my life hidden and reserved in Christ?
Pulpit [Dec. 17-18] What place do I make for the contemplative reading and thoughtful proclamation of the Word of God? How does my life—like that of Our Blessed Lady, the Virgin Mary—proclaim the greatness of the Lord?
Side Chapels [Dec. 19-20] How do the various concerns of my life (persistent needs, key events, significant losses, special devotions) find their center arranged around the “High Altar” of my relation and service to Christ?
High Altar [Dec. 21-22] What are the sacrifices in my life that must be united to the Sacrifice of Christ? How does my life and mission bear the form: “Take, this is my body, given up for you”? In other words, how have I like the Living Bread of the Eucharist been “taken,” “blessed,” “broken,” and “given” by Christ?
Hidden Works of Art [Dec. 23-24] What are my acts of love that only God can see? How am I going to make room for Jesus this Christmas?