Consecrated to the Heart of the Redeemer under the patronage of the Theotokos and Fr. Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J.

10 April 2012

Peculiar Points To Ponder

In my journeyings I have discovered numerous Examination of Conscience formats.  Every one of them contains suggestions that I haven't seen worded in that way before; or I hadn't thought this or that matter fell under this or that particular commandment.

Recently while I was giving a retreat talk at my Alma Mater, Nativity B.V.M. High School in Pottsville, Fr. Stokes (Nativity's Chaplain) let me have a copy of an EoC he had given to the students at some point.  While most versions concern themselves with the Ten Commandments, this one was based on the (Matthean) Beatitudes.  I have favored the 10C because I think they yield more concrete material, but after one look at this version I am changing my tune.  After all, our confessional material is as concrete as we want it to be, and we aren't helping ourselves by resorting to vague generalities.

For the benefit of the patient reader, I offer two sample questions from each beatitude.
  • Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
    • How often have I thought that I could do the job better than You?
    • How often have I replaced You with material things of this world and made them my god instead of You?
  • Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the earth.
    • How often have I looked at the ideas of others as foolish because it wasn't the way I thought it should be done?
    • How often have I been inconsiderate of others' needs and thought only about myself?
  • Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
    • How often have I thought that You had better things to do than hear my plea, so that I turned my back on Your healing hand and ability to comfort me, as if You didn't know my pain even better than I did?
    • Have I been angry with You, Lord, for calling a loved one from this world and felt as though You had abandoned me by taking him/her away?
  • Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
    • Have I sat by and done nothing when someone was treated unjustly when I should have spoken out against the injustice?
    • Do I always look out for what's in my best interest alone?
  • Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
    • Do I refuse to see the image of Christ hidden in the person asking for my forgiveness?
    • Do I find it difficult to forgive myself?
  • Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.
    • Have I looked at others as objects for my own gratification instead of brothers and sisters in Christ?
    • Do I place myself in situations that could lead me to sin?
  • Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.
    • How often have I overreacted to something small and created a conflict?
    • Is my contrition insincere?
  • Blessed are they who suffer persecution for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
    • Have I decided to live out only those aspects of the faith I like best?
    • Am I slow to defend another who may be treated poorly by others?

1 comment:

  1. Wow - some good stuff there Father. I am going to print it out so I can refer to it later.

    Thank you - Lisa P