Reviewing the Day

I once heard Keith Miller describe his own experience with this difficult fifth step (the AA's fifth step). Miller, a Protestant, called a Catholic priest who lived five hundred miles away and asked, "Would you hear my confession?" He made a long list of his character flaws and defects and the many people he had wronged. Then he travelled to the priest's home city, sat before him, and read aloud the entire list without looking up.

At the end, Miller held his head in his hands, waiting for a response. Silence. Miller kept expecting the blow to fall. Nothing. When he forced himself to raise his head, he saw that the priest was crying. "My God, Keith," he said, "that's my list too." A path opened toward healing.

After experiencing the power of repentance, Miller developed a rit­ual of confession, a mini-inventory he goes through each night in a review of the day. He looks for signs of self-pity, self-justification, dishonesty, resentment, selfishness, and fear. As he identifies each instance, he confesses it to God and jots a note to make amends to the people he wronged, if appropriate. Then, having cleared himself of the day's toxins, he lists the good things that happened, breathes a prayer of gratitude, and goes to sleep."

Yancey, Philip. Rumours of Another World". Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2003, p. 150.

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