A Better Life

Just some thoughts on my life…and how I am trying to live it better

Get’cha Head in the Game!

Posted by Aaron on August 21, 2010

One way of truly attempting to better ones life is to do an examination of conscience each day, at the end of the day, like I tell my kids, in order “to review our day, to see what we did that was good, not so good, and how to do better tomorrow.” This is a part of the night prayer we do together each evening, and this is a silent reflection that each of us should do daily.

A couple of months ago, my family went to a “family camp” at the Sacred Heart Camp up in Big Bear, CA. The only camping part was actually sleeping in a tent, the rest was really a retreat for the whole family, broken out into age groups, so my wife an I were grouped with all the rest of the parents on this extended weekend. What a wonderful experience knowing that our kids were getting a retreat at their own level at the same time! Well, that being said, one of the exercises we did (and at the time of doing it, we didn’t know exactly what we were doing) as adults was come up with an examination of conscience based upon the seven sacraments.

Often an examination of conscience is done based upon the Ten Commandments, or on the Beatitudes, but this was an interesting, new perspective that I thought I would share.
Even if you are not Catholic, you can see how this, examining your thoughts and actions based upon a different point of view can be helpful.

Eucharist (Holy Communion)
– Have I been faithful in receiving the Eucharist at the Lord’s Table weekly?
– Do I go to Mass then act uncharitably towards others afterwards (even as soon as the parking lot)?
– Am I unprepared for Mass, coming in late or leaving early on a regular basis?
– Do I text during Mass; chew gum? Not observe the fasting rules?
– Am I dressed modestly?
– What are the things which cause me to miss Sunday Mass?
– Do I use God’s in Vain?
– Do I allow myself to be distracted at Mass?
– Do I show a lack of respect for the Lord or the priest?

Matrimony
– In what ways have I separated myself from my spouse?
– How do I destroy or harm the unity that should exist between me and my wife/husband?
– How do I destroy or harm the unity that should exist between my children and myself?
– What are the patterns in my life that cause separation, not unity?
– Do I withhold myself (thoughts, worries, etc.) from my spouse out of fear of rejection?
– Do I let other activities (work, recreation, etc.) become priorities ahead of my spouse and children?
– Do I fail to respect the trust my spouse and children have given me?
– Do I pray with my family?

Reconciliation
– What are the walls in my life and why did I put them up?
– Are fears controlling my life?
– Do I pile hurt upon hurt?
– When someone has opened a gate for me, did I accept it or did I build a bigger wall?
– Do I harbor unkind thoughts about others?
– Do I hold grudges?
– Do I harbor resentment towards others?
– Is my reconciliation sincere and life giving?
– Have I asked for forgiveness or failed to forgive?

Holy Orders
-Have I supported the priests in my parish, diocese, the Church, and taught that to my children?
– Do I speak well of priests?
– Do I reach out to them?
– Do I see priests as human, and in need of support?
– Do I readily complain about the homily after Mass?
– How do I speak of the priest scandal to others in front of my children?
– Do I promote vocations to the priesthood or religious life in my children?
– Do I pray for vocations to the priesthood or religious life?

Confirmation
– In what ways do I follow MY way, not GOD’s way?
– Do I allow things to happen in God’s time or do I make it my timing?
– Can I let go of my agenda?
– Do I take time to stop and listen to the Holy Spirit speaking (even through others)?
– Do I go to God first when making a decision?
– Do I feel like I have to hold my family together, forgetting about God?
– When did I look for, speak, or listen to untruth and falsehood, rather than truth?

Anointing of the Sick
– When illness or problems overwhelm me, do I give in to discouragement? Do I give up?
– Have I taken care of my body as a temple of God, showing appreciation for the healing gift of health God has given me?
– Do I care for, visit, pray for he sick, physically and/or spiritually?
– How do I treat the sick and elderly in my everyday life?
– Do I value the sanctification of life, from conception until natural death?
– Do I surrender my loved one who is suffering to God?

Baptism
– How have I rejected the life and love of God that He has given me through Baptism?
– Do I too frequently choose my favorite recreational activity over time spent with my family?
– Through my Baptism I am to be light for others. When was I leading others into darkness, not light? Have I asked others to lie for me?
– Do I not behave rightly in front of my children?
– The cleansing waters of Baptism washed away my sins; hw have I allowed sin into my life?

As one of the songs I was listening to earlier today says “Get’cha head in the game”
Maybe we need to not only get our head in it, but our heart and soul as well, and really take a close look at our life and set it back on the right course again….toward HIM!

Have a blessed week!

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