1. Formation of Conscience
Here we see the importance of the formation of conscience, which allows discernment to grow in depth and in fidelity to God: forming our conscience is the work of a lifetime, in which we learn to cultivate the very sentiments of Jesus Christ, adopting the criteria behind his choices and the intentions behind his actions (Cf. Phil 2:5)
In this process of formation, we let ourselves be transformed by Christ, even as we develop the habit of doing good, which also is part of our examination of conscience. We do not simply identify sins, but also recognise God’s work in our daily lives, in the events of our personal history and the world around us, and in the witness of all those men and women who have gone before us or accompany us with their wisdom. This helps us to grow in the virtue of prudence and to give an overall direction to our life through concrete choices, in the serene awareness of both our gifts and our limitations. (From Pope Francis’ letter to young people, Christ Is Alive, articles281-282)
2. A penitential prayer from the Orthodox Tradition
Attend, O heaven, and I shall speak; give ear, O earth, to the voice of one who repents before God and sings His praise. Look upon me, God my Saviour, with Your merciful eye, and accept my fervent confession. More than all men have I sinned; I alone have sinned against You. But as God take pity on Your creation, o Saviour. With my lustful desires I have formed within myself the deformity of the passions and disfigured the beauty of my mind. I am surrounded by the storm of sin, O compassionate Lord. But stretch out Your hand to me, as once You have to Peter (Matthew 14:31). I have stained the garment of my flesh, O Saviour, and defiled that which was made in Your image and likeness. With the lusts of passion I have darkened the beauty of my soul, and turned my whole mind entirely into dust. I have torn the first garment that the Creator wove for me in the beginning, and now I lie naked. (From Great Compline. Monday in the First Week. The Lenten Triodion.)
These are verbal Icons, expressions of how the world is seen from Saint Augustine's..