Father Zimmer’s homily from the first Sunday of Lent featured another Examination of Conscience to add to our collection:

According to the testimony of sacred scripture, Jesus began his public ministry in the wilderness of Sinai.

Alone in the desert, he confronted Satan. And in the strength of the Spirit he rejected all his works and all his empty promises.

Each year, at the beginning of Lent, we are invited to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit we are challenged to confront the reality of sin in our own personal lives.

For a variety of reasons many of us find it hard to make this examination of conscience. We find it difficult to verbalize our failures before God.

And so, I invite you to sit back, close your eyes, and ponder the following questions in the quiet of your heart.

Do I recognize God’s authority over my life? Or do I follow my own agenda, fitting God in when it’s convenient?

Do my own ambitions or desires, my career, or any need for human respect control my life, rather than God’s authority and word?

Do I open myself to the love of God each day through daily prayer and scripture reading?

Do I honour God by participating in the Eucharist each Sunday?

Do I reverence God’s Name in my speech?

Do I build up or break down relationships with members of my family, close relatives, fellow workers or neighbours?

Do my words or actions reflect self-centeredness?

Am I concerned only for myself, or do I show compassion and concern in word and deed for others, especially the poor, less fortunate, sick and suffering?

Do I recognize and respond to my obligation as a Christian to be aware of injustice in society and to foster justice?

Do I allow myself to be controlled by moods at home or at work?

Am I angry, bitter, or resentful toward anyone, particularly a family member?

Do I recognize the sin in my anger or do I savour it and refuse to let it go?

Have I forgiven everyone who has injured or offended me?

Have I damaged anyone’s reputation or dignity through gossip or lies?

Do I honour my parents, showing them proper respect and obedience? Do I give proper time and attention to my spouse, my children, my brothers and sisters?

Have I been cynical or disrespectful to legitimate authority?

Have I been truthful in my words as well as in my actions?

Do I give my mind over to lustful thoughts, fantasies or daydreams?

Has my conversation included obscene or off-colour language or stories?

Have I accessed pornography on the internet? Acted impurely with myself or others?

Have I respected the sanctity of all human life, from the moment of conception until its natural end?

Have I abused my body with drugs or alcohol?

Have I participated in the occult, fortune telling, palm reading, astrology or other superstitious activities?

Are there any other areas in which the Holy Spirit is leading me toward repentance…for example, past sins forgotten or deliberately covered over, troubling hurts that need healing or special areas of difficulty?

Together we have looked into our hearts. And identified our sins. During Lent there are many opportunities available for Confession. Jesus waits for us with open arms.

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