Last week we looked at ten questions regarding
the virtue of hope in developing the foundational skills necessary to make a worthy examination of conscience. As was mentioned last week, of the three theological virtues, the theological virtue of charity is perhaps one of the most difficult to regulate, exercise and manage with consistency. This week we examine twenty questions pertaining to the theological virtue of charity.
1.) Have I told God today that I love Him?
2.) Do I tell Jesus that I love Him with my whole heart?
3.) Do I take the occasion to tell God that I love Him whenever I experience something I naturally dislike?
4.) Have I capitalized on the difficulties today to tell God that I love Him just because He sent me the trial or misunderstanding?
5.) Do I see God's love for me in allowing me to prove my love for Him in the crosses He sent me today?
6.) Have I seen God's grace to prove my love for Him in every person whom I met today?
7.) Have I failed in charity by speaking unkindly about others?
8.) Have I dwelt on what I considered some- one's unkindness toward me today?
9.) Is there someone that I consciously avoid because I dislike the person?
10.) Did I try to carry on a conversation today with someone who is difficult to talk to?
11.) Have I been stubborn in asserting my own will?
12.) How thoughtful have I been today in doing some small favor for someone?
13.) Have I allowed my mood to prevent me from being thoughtful of others today?
14.) Am I given to dwelling on other people's weaknesses or faults?
15.) Have I been cheerful today in my dealings with others?
16.) Do I control my uncharitable thoughts as soon as they arise in my mind?
17.) Did I pray for others today?
18.) Have I written any letters today?
19.) Have I controlled my emotions when someone irritated me?
20.) Have I performed any sacrifice today for someone?
The theological virtues of faith, hope and charity
aid in developing the foundational skills necessary to make a worthy examination of conscience. Last week we looked at ten questions regarding the virtue of faith. This week we examine ten questions pertaining to the theological virtue of hope.
1.) Do I immediately say a short prayer when I find myself getting discouraged?
2.) Do I daily say a short act of hope?
[O my God, relying on Your almighty power and infinite mercy and promises, I hope to obtain pardon of my sins, the help of Your grace and life everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer. Amen.]
3.) Do I dwell on my worries instead of dismissing them from my mind?
4.) Do I fail in the virtue of hope by my attachment to the things of this world?
5.) Do I try to see God's providence in everything that "happens" in my life?
6.) Do I try to see everything from the view point of eternity?
7.) Am I confident that, with God's grace, I will be saved?
8.) Do I allow myself to worry about my past life and thus weaken my hope in God's mercy?
9.) Do I try to combine every fully deliberate action with at least a momentary prayer for divine help?
10.) How often today have I complained, even internally?
From experience we individually know ourselves, our failures, our shortcomings and what areas need the most development. Over the course of the next week, ponder the above questions regarding the theological virtue of hope and see if they will help you to hone and align virtues and overcome obstacles in the pursuit of holiness.
Next week’s column will examine 20 questions under the theological virtue of charity. Of the three theological virtues, the theological virtue of charity is perhaps one of the most difficult to regulate, exercise and manage with consistency. Opportunities abound at every corner and bend of our lives as we attempt to put the virtue of charity into perfect practice.
To be continued....
As promised, this week’s column will focus on
the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity to aid in developing the foundational skills necessary to make a worthy examination of conscience, twice daily.
However, let’s take a detour for a moment before looking at the theological virtues. In Matthew Kelly’s book entitled, “Rediscover Catholicism,” Matthew poses a question which possibly will make us feel uncomfortable, and yet ignite a deep desire to employ renovations in our spiritual lives.
“’I would like to place the question before you now. If your spiritual life were a house, what would it be like? What street would it be on? What part of town would it be in? What would it look like? Would it be a house or home? Is it in need of renovations? Is it peaceful, noisy, distracting, well organized, messy?’”
Matthew’s set of questions is a perfect segway as we begin to examine the theological virtues starting with the virtue of faith:
Do I make an honest effort to grow in the virtue of faith by daily mental prayer on the mysteries of the faith as revealed in the life of Jesus Christ?
Do I make at least a short act of faith every day?
Do I pray daily for an increase of faith?
Do I ever tempt God by relying on my own strength to cope with the trials in my life?
Do I unnecessarily read or listen to those who oppose or belittle what I know are truths of my Catholic faith?
What have I done today to externally profess my faith?
Have I allowed human respect to keep me from giving expression to my faith?
Do I make a serious effort to resolve difficulties that may arise about my faith?
Do I ever defend my faith, prudently and charitably, when someone says something contrary to what I know is to be believed?
Have I helped someone overcome a
difficulty against the faith?
To be continued....