manifestation of conscience

A practise in many religious orders and congregations by which subjects reveal the state of their conscience to the superior, to the spiritual director, or to the confessor, in order that he may know them more intimately, and thus be able to further their spiritual progress. It consists in revealing the affections and inclinations of the soul towards the various virtues and vices; in exposing temptations, trials, and difficulties experienced in the spiritual life in order that the individual may receive help and guidance in the way of perfection. Canon 530 of the Code of Canon Law forbids all religious superiors to induce their subjects in any way to make such a manifestation of conscience. At the same time it allows subjects freely to open the state of their souls to their superiors, and encourages them to treat with their superiors with filial confidence, and also, provided the superiors be priests, to expose to them their doubts and troubles of conscience.

New Catholic Dictionary

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