Posts Tagged ‘Faith’

REFLECTION: Surrender

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

 

“SURRENDER!!!?!!!!!”  Is that a command or a request?  Playing “combat” just as was portrayed on the TV program (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0055666/) in our yester-years, my 3 brothers and I would run around the yard with our machine guns and whatever make believe weapons we had, attempting to massacre and force the other to surrender.  No one wanted to be overpowered and give up control to the other team because it signified defeat.

What does surrender mean in our society today?  Without realizing what we have done, many of us have obediently and have readily given in to the ways of the world without even attempting to fight.  Media, be it in paper form or radio waves, has and is moulding the world… silently prompting our ideals and lives to conform to multiple ways that bring pain and agony to the lives of multitudes.  Sadly, many don’t realize that something…  “someone” has taken control and he goes around stealthily and invisibly, planting lies into our minds and whispering thoughts that prompt us to bring more harm to ourselves.  The bait dangles right before us, promising some form of satisfaction, only to leave us trapped in a cage of self-loath, shame, agony and misery when we reach out and take the bait. (1 Peter 5:8)

Did we surrender?  NO, because surrender requires a free-willed choice, but instead, we were tricked and we often find ourselves shackled, again and again…  to the ways of the world.

“Surrender?… to whom, to what?”  To God.  Many would recoil instantly and say “No way, I enjoy my freedom, thank you very much!” Freedom?  Really?  Or are you actually caught up in snares of heart ache, not knowing where to turn?

There is an answer, a way, but many refuse to listen.  Perhaps many have to be brushed by death to realize they need another way.  Will there be time?  Hopefully, but then years of agony and suffering would have had to be endured and the loss of a healthy and joyful life would have been lost.

But there is still hope!  Even a taste of joy in a lifetime would be worth it.  “But surrender?  NO thanks, I’m still not ready.  Let me try it my way one more time.  I know I can do it.  I’ve changed my ways and I’m so much stronger and wiser…”

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life…”  John 14:6

“No thanks, I don’t need religion.” many respond.  But He doesn’t leave.  He continues to call out, gently whispering your name, waiting for you to realize and say “God, help me!”

He waits… patiently.  He doesn’t intrude nor does He force his way, even when he knows that His ways will help you through.  He waits…  waiting for you to surrender and admit, “I need Your help!”

“Surrender?  What will it cost?”  Give up your way and trust that God’s way is better.  “God loves us more than we can ever begin to love ourselves.  Do we believe that?  Do we live that?” (footnote 1)

Surrender is NOT “Okay, do whatever you want with me.”  The surrender He asks is that of Mary… “Let it be done unto me.”  It is an active desire to seek out and live God’s will.  Mary’s “yes” to God brought salvation to the world.  Our “yes” to God allows us to be instruments of salvation for our families, the world and ourselves.

It is not a surrender of fear or self-interest.  It is a response to a loving invitation to a journey towards eternal life.  It is a life-giving surrender.  As you daily surrender to our Father’s will, you will discover the joy of totally giving of yourself to the One who has totally given Himself to you.  It is a surrender into a relationship of trust and love.  Jesus will never leave you or forsake you.  (Deuteronomy 31:6) He will lead you and guide you (Psalm 32:8) and He promises to give you His peace. (John 14:27)

Will you surrender?

God bless,

Melissa – November 27, 2013; 10:31 a.m.

 

p.s.:

1) Reference:  Introduction to “Surrender!  Life Changing Power of Doing God’s Will”
by Fr. Larry Richards

2) Praying through Ephesians 1:16:

Father God, we ask for a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of You.  We ask You to enlighten our eyes so that we will know what is the hope You have called us to.  Lord, help us to embrace and use the immeasurable greatness of Your power in us who believe in You so as to make a difference in this world. In Jesus’ name we pray, AMEN.

REFLECTION: What are you praying for?

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

At an Evangelium (footnote 1) gathering at our parish, “Life of Prayer” was the topic of the night.  The study began with what Christian prayer is, but what intrigued me more than anything else  was the teaching of what Christian prayer is not.

  • Prayer is not a mental exercise to an empty mind and it does not seek a mental void as what is sought for in Zen and/or in yoga.
    – Prayer always has God and the things of God as its focus.
  • Prayer is not just in the mind, but it also involves God who creates miracles and transforms the one engaged in prayer and the world.
    – It is not just positive thinking.
  • Prayer is not a ritual technique like magic, simply seeking power or other benefits.
    – Christian prayer leads to the knowledge of God  and the love of God

Perhaps a discussion about the 33 Chilean miners who were trapped 69 dark, extensive days beneath the surface of the earth in 2010 was inevitable.   The question “Did the prayers of many change the mind of God?” was asked.  Many quietly said “no” and the facilitator agreed.  God is God and His mind does not need to be changed by man.  He knows exactly when things will happen even before they happen.

“So what is the use of praying if God already knows what and when it’ll happen?”  was then asked.  The response is answered by another question.  What happens when we pray?  When we pray to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, we humble ourselves and we admit that we can’t do things on our own strength.  As we begin to voice our thoughts, be it our fears, our pain, our needs, or our joys, we choose to stop running long enough to examine ourselves.  As we do, we gradually begin to know and understand ourselves and we begin to know and experience the presence and love of God.  Because God is God, any encounter with Him transforms us.  We may not recognize the change immediately, but as we continue to persevere and chose to continue our encounters with Him, change happens.

James 1:2-4 says “Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various tirals, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

There are times when we pray in line with God’s will and our prayers appear to be answered immediately.  As a matter of fact, God answers all our prayers immediately, but unfortunately, His answer may not be the answer we are waiting for.  God answers with a “yes”, “no”, or “wait”.    We don’t mutter when we get our way, but when He answers with a “no” or “wait”, we often go into a fit.  After the tantrum and after the extensive muttering, we try once again and if we are truly desparate, we may even find ourselves bargaining with God and we find ourselves promising that we will become a better person IF we get what we want.  Been there, done that?

Let’s visit the Chilean miners once again.  The one I have in mind is the second miner who was brought to the surface.  “Mario Sepulveda — christened Super Mario by the Chilean press — was the second miner to escape. He had everyone laughing when his whoops of joy resounded on the surface even before he arrived. “Vamos, vamos,” he shouted as the capsule ascended. He then stepped out of the capsule, opened up a yellow bag, pulled out souvenir rocks from below and began handing them out to the rescuers, even to Chilean President Sebastian Pinera. “I’m so happy!” Mr. Sepulveda yelled, grinning, punching his fist in the air and hugging everyone in sight. He then ran over to a group of friends to hug them and lead them in yelling out a classic cheer that ended with the line: “Long live the Chilean miners!” But there was also a darkly serious note. “I have been with God and I’ve been with the devil,” he later said in an interview. “They both fought for me. God won. I seized the hand of God, it was the best hand.I always knew God would get us out of there.” Mr. Sepulveda, the emotional leader of the miners underground who kept their spirits up, asked the press not to treat him as a superstar or artist. “I was born a miner and I’ll die a miner,” he said. ” (footnote 2)

I’m sure Mario had prayed fervently to be rescued immediately and yet God didn’t “give” what he asked.  It must have been a living nightmare down there and he himself had admitted that he had been both with God and with the devil.  Anger, resentment, hopelessness are assumed to be a few of the emotions he experienced, and yet “Sepulveda said his time trapped 2,300 feet beneath the earth has instilled in him a desire to become a “new person,” and he “learned a lot of wonderful lessons about taking the good path in life.”  (footnote 3)

What had happened down there?  We know Mario prayed day in and day out and after 69 excruciating long days, he was brought  up to the surface of planet earth grinning and so happy, with a desire to become a “new person”.

What had happened?  I believe Mario was changed because he encountered God.

God bless,

Melissa – October 20, 2010

p.s. – footnote 1 –  (http://www.cenacle.co.uk/content/Evangelium.htm)
footnote 2  –  (http://www.nationalpost.com/m/story.html?id=3668830)
footnote 3  –  (http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2010/10/14/whats-next-for-chile-miners-fenix-super-mario-and-mine/)

REFLECTION: He found me…

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

Last Sunday, I dropped our youngest off to the airport so she could participate in a week long Encounters With Canada program in Ottawa.  Each of the kids have gone off on their own for one activity or another in the past, but this time it was different.  With a husband in the orient and another youngster living in a dorm, a large void suddenly arises when the youngest leaves, even if I still have a faithful one at home keeping me company.

Monday found me floundering a bit until I came across an e-mail, sent by a faithful friend.  Karl normally forwards the Ransomed Heart daily readings en masse at the end of the week.  Surprisingly he forwarded one at 8:42 on Monday morning, just as if he knew it would lift me.

And so I share…  

“February 8, 2010
God Pursuing Us

What is God like? Is his heart good? We know he is the initiator from first to last. As Simon Tugwell reminds, God is the one pursuing us:

So long as we imagine that it is we who have to look for God, we must often lose heart. But it is the other way about; He is looking for us. And so we can afford to recognize that very often we are not looking for God; far from it, we are in full flight from him, in high rebellion against him. And He knows that and has taken it into account. He has followed us into our own darkness; there where we thought finally to escape him, we run straight into his arms. So we do not have to erect a false piety for ourselves, to give us the hope of salvation. Our hope is in his determination to save us, and he will not give in. ( Prayer)

When we feel that life is finally up to us, it becomes suffocating. When we are the main character, the world is so small there’s barely room to move. It frees our souls to have something going on before us that involves us, had us in mind, yet doesn’t depend on us or culminate in us, but invites us up into something larger (beyond myself / ourselves… and into the larger realm of others – my interpretation). And what about the Romance and the Arrows? It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Once upon a time we lived in a garden; we lived in the place for which we were made. There were no Arrows, only beauty. Our relationships weren’t tainted with fear, guardedness, manipulation, quid pro quo. Our work was rewarding; we received more than we gave. There is beauty, and we so long for it to last; we were made for the Garden. But now there is affliction also, and that is because we live East of Eden. The Arrows seem like the truest part of life, but they are not. The heart of the universe is still perfect love.

( The Sacred Romance <http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=53297291&msgid=731989&act=X0I1&c=328627&destination=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ransomedheart.com%2Fp-12-sacared-romance-the-hardback.aspx> , 81–82)”

Comfort immediately poured over me as I realized I didn’t have to look for company.  The Father knew I was going to feel abandoned and lonely ahead of time, and as if it was planned just for me, he prompted Karl to forward an e-mail to remind me that I am not alone, and He was pursuing me.  (Thanks Karl for saying “yes” to that prompting.)

With that comfort, I was able to stand and shake off the doldrums and self pity and lively activity filled my day. (I cleaned the mold lined deck with brush and running water!  Now that’s activity!)

So, if anyone should ask why I believe in God, I can point them to this… incidental (likely to happen or naturally appertaining) to some, but grandiose to me… because GOD persued me and He found me!

God bless,

Melissa – February 10, 2010 / Wednesday

p.s. – May the Father’s pursuit find each of us in His loving arms.


REFLECTION: What if I was wrong?

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

 

A few days ago, I sent an e-mail out with several links to earthquake safety.  I felt it was important for everyone to be prepared when the big earthquake came.  Unfortunately, the original e-mail which remained at the bottom contained numerous inaccurate information and I had forgotten to delete it.

The following day, I received an e-mail from one of my recipients and he unknowingly was forwarding the inaccurate information I had sent earlier. My heart raced in fear as I realized the danger I could have put others in by sending out misleading information.  I would be so devastated if many had lost their lives in an earthquake because I was wrong.

As I reflected on this throughout the day, I sensed the Father asking me what would happen if I shared inaccurate information about my faith.  I cringed in fear at the thought of the eternal devastation and damnation I would have brought forth on others.

I then remembered the song “What if?” written and sung by Nicole Nordeman.  A fan wrote “I saw her in concert and she said she wrote this song to a dear friend of hers that relied on his knowledge and intellect to convince himself that God did not exist. She was telling him it is so much more than facts and data which proves/disproves Jesus actually lived.”

And so I share…

“What if”?” Written and sung by Nicole Nordeman.

What if you’re right?
And he was just another nice guy
What if you’re right?
What if it’s true?
They say the cross will only make a fool of you
And what if it’s true?

What if he takes his place in history
With all the prophets and the kings
Who taught us love and came in peace
But then the story ends
What then?

But what if you’re wrong?
What if there’s more?
What if there’s hope you never dreamed of hoping for?
What if you jump?
And just close your eyes?
What if the arms that catch you, catch you by surprise?
What if He’s more than enough?
What if it’s love?

What if you dig
Way down deeper than your simple-minded friends
What if you dig?
What if you find
A thousand more unanswered questions down inside
That’s all you find?

What if you pick apart the logic
And begin to poke the holes
What if the crown of thorns is no more
Than folklore that must be told and retold?

You’ve been running as fast as you can
You’ve been looking for a place you can land for so long
But what if you’re wrong?”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zOyoR3oKs0&feature=related <- music video clip

What if I was wrong about my faith in Jesus?  Would I have lost anything because I believed that He would give me freedom to live my life to the fullest?  Without any hesitation, my answer is a definite “NO”.    As I examine and reflect on my life, I clearly see how much richer my life has become as my walk with Jesus has grown.  I have found reason to live and I receive hope when troubles come or when I am in despair.  If I had a chance to live my life all over again and I had one wish for that life, I would choose to have Jesus in my life from the very start.

As I continue to reflect, my thoughts bring me back to the morning I passed out in the shower several years ago.  I was in the depths of deep depression and anxiety was at its peak.  I recall asking the Father not to leave me because if He did…  The thought was never completed  because my world went completely black and I lost consciousness.  I am not sure why I passed out, but it appears as if my mind could not handle the possibility of His absence in my life.

May the Father open our spiritual eyes so we can recognize and accept the Truth that sets us free.

God bless,

Melissa – February 5, 2010

p.s. – 1 Peter 3:15 – But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…

REFLECTION: How will they wait?

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

This morning I came across the comment of a Vancouverite doctor who performed numerous surgeries in tragedy stricken Haiti.   She said “It will take a long, long time for them to rebuild”.  As her words slowly sank in, the memory of make-shift tents built in close proximity to each other, which I had seen on the news, resurfaced and I deeply pondered over how each family would make it through the weeks,months and perhaps…years?

As I plowed through Fr. Jacques Phillippe’s book, Called to Life, answers seemed to jump up to life.  I quote randomly as I jump forward and backwards through the first two chapters…

“God’s very first gift is human life!… It is understandable that people often have difficulty in welcoming life as a gift.  Life brings sorrow,sufferings and disappointments.  Sometimes we feel that it is more a burden than a gift… But even with its trials and sufferings, life still is a gift.”

“Live!  I want you to live! (Ezek 16:6-13)  Here is the first and the most fundamental call to us from God.  When life seems too hard to bear we must hold tight to this word, will to respond to the call, choose to live and welcome life as it is, with all its burdens and sorrows.  In the end, this confident acceptance bring us to see life as an immense gift.”

“Many people have made this choice to believe in life despite their suffering… Note that this means We must “chose all”, as St. Therese of Lisieux said.”

“Etty Hillesum (a young Jewish woman who died at Auschwitz in 1943) expressed the same thoughts:  I am having an ever-stronger experience these last days: in my least daily actions and sensations a hint of eternity creeps in.  I am not the only who is tired, sick, sad or anguished.  I am united with millions of others across centuries.  All that is what life is made of.  Life is beautiful and full of meaning in its absurdity if you know how to take it as a whole.  So life in some sense or other forms a perfect whole. As soon as we refuse or wish to eliminate certain elements, as soon as we follow our own pleasure or caprice by accepting one aspect of life and rejecting another, then life becomes in effect absurd.  Once the sense of the whole of it is lost, everything becomes arbitrary.”

“To a disturbing extent, contemporary Western culture has largely lost sight of these truths.  It has difficulty recognizing the real value of every life, supposing instead that life is only worth living if one is rich, young, healthy, successful in everything, a potential subject of a fashion magazine cover.  Handicap, old age, and suffering rob life of value.  Yet fortunately the Church, faithful to the Gospel, ceaselessly proclaims the value of all life, even those lives that do not conform to society’s current idea of success.” “God calls us to freedom.  But instead of being given to us instantaneously and in full measure, this freedom is built up progressively and patiently day by day, by being faithful to God’s calls… Through pride, human beings refuse to accept life and happiness from the Father’s hands, with confident and loving dependency, preferring to be the source of life for themselves. …Looking for happiness not to God, but to ourselves, we feverishly seek it in things like riches, pleasure and fame.”

“Openness to God’s calls frees us from pride… Openness to God’s calls helps us escape the pitfalls of desire.  God redirects desire towards goods better able to satisfy us than those we lust after.  And this openness frees us from fear.  By being open to God’s calls, the believer receives encouragement and strength that empower him to rise above his fears and break out of the narrow circle of inadequate coping strategies by which people too often attempt to handle fear.

“...God’s calls do not always involve the whole future panorama of one’s life.  Sometimes one is called to take just a single step –‘nothing except for today,’ as St. Therese of Lisieux said.  But it is enough to live and advance a day at a time, finding meaning in existence and persevering until one receives the grace to see more. In fact it is better that we not know the future but discover it step by step.  We are tempted to imagine that security lies in mastering the future, but the reverse is true: the more we confidently entrust the future to God, without trying to know it or master it, the more secure and peaceful we are.”

My prayer is that Haiti’s suffering will not be in vain.  I earnestly pray that as they wait, each will hear and answer the call of the Father, to live each day to the fullest, one moment at a time.  As each hand reaches out to another, may the whole nation stand stronger than it has ever been.

As I completed my Bible study this morning, I came across this verse…

“In His great love, God will restore and rebuild, cleanse and heal.  Their weeping will be turned to shouts of joy.  Best of all, God will make a new covenant with His people….This is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord.  I will put my law within them, and I will write it upon their hearts: and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. They will all be forgiven, and all will know the Lord.(Jeremiah 31:32-33)

May we all claim this scripture as a prophetic word for Haiti.


God bless,

Melissa –
Feb 2-3, 2010

REFLECTION: Reviving withered plants and ourselves…

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

I enjoy indoor gardening.  Unfortunately for those plants that depend on me for their sustenance, I am definitely NOT an avid gardener.  Every so often…every two weeks perhaps…I finally realize that I had forgotten to water them when I notice that some of the plants have began to wither.

I have actually just completed my “plant revival ceremony” and now I sit wondering if I was too late for some…  Poor plants…

As I tended to the last plant…the ornamental pepper whose red peppers have shriveled and whose stems have sort of mummified…I noticed that some of the “peppers” rattled.  Excitedly I tore one open and lo and behold I found seeds!  The plant tag said that I should discard the plant after its time had ended, but since I had one empty pot (everything in it had died), I decided to plant the seeds and see if they will grow.

Over the three months I have tended the ornamental pepper plant, I plucked away the leaves that had shriveled up.  Having cut off all the ornamental peppers except for the last 3, I debated on whether it was time to part ways with the plant.  As I examined its bare branches, I noticed that tiny new leaves were growing! As I decided to keep the plant for a few more weeks, I sensed the Father prompting me to write.

with·ered (wrd)adj. Shriveled, shrunken, or faded from or as if from loss of moisture or sustenance… Yup, that described my indoor plants all right.  Like my unattended plants, I believe the Father wants us to realize that we human beings wither too.

As we race through our every day lives, we run here and there, tending to what appears to be the highest priorities for the day.  Without realizing it, week after another passes, and our inner spirit begins to wither for lack of nourishment.  If we are “lucky”, we may have made time to see the dentist, the doctor or attend some therapy…and while there, we are forced to slow down for a moment and perhaps even have enough time to peek at what is really going on deep within us.  Unfortunately, the time “off” lasts only for a moment  and we find ourselves running around again…often times, not getting any further than where we first started.

I’m sure this sounds familiar to many, if not all.  Our lives have become so busy that, often times, we don’t even realize that “our leaves have begun to turn yellow”.  It is only when the “leaves begin to wither and fall” that we finally notice that something is wrong.  And unfortunately for some, by that time it may be too late.

I have cut and pasted an article below which I had found by googling “examination of conscience”.  I have not read it in full, but perhaps it may help a few.

I pray that each of us will make time for ourselves, to reflect and examine who we are and why we are.  Living Water and the Bread of Life are always available…if only we make time to receive.

God bless,

Melissa – January 2010




=========================================================

Examination of Conscience    by Fr. John Hardon, S.J.
- http://www.ewtn.com/library/SPIRIT/EXAMCONS.TXT

"If there is one part of the spiritual life that St. Ignatius stressed, it was the daily--and 
even twice daily--examination of conscience. 

As we read the <Spiritual Exercises>, we may be overwhelmed by the minute detail of 
St. Ignatius' treatment of what he calls the particular examination of conscience. At the 
same time, he is careful to provide, "Some Notes on Scruples." 

It is very important, therefore, that we form a clear and correct conscience. This means 
that we cultivate a sensitive judgment which is alert to the least offense against the 
Divine will and, at the same time, protect ourselves against the wiles of the evil spirit. 
"The enemy," says St. Ignatius, "considers carefully whether one has a lax or a delicate 
conscience. If one has a delicate conscience, the evil one seeks to make it excessively 
sensitive in order to disturb and upset it more easily. Thus, if he sees that one will not 
consent to mortal sin or venial sin, or even to the appearance of deliberate sin, since he 
cannot cause him to fall in a matter that appears sinful, he strives to make the soul 
judge that there is a sin, for example in a word or passing thought, where there is no 
sin" (<Spiritual Exercises>, 349). 

It is valuable to reflect on this tactic of the evil spirit before we offer some practical 
norms for making our daily examination of conscience. Why? Because otherwise, we 
are liable to overlook the importance of a daily inventory of our moral conduct for fear 
of becoming scrupulous. 

There is such a thing as growing in prudent sensitivity of conscience, without becoming 
a victim of the "enemy" as St. Ignatius calls him. 

We may set this down as a general principle, for those who are sincerely striving to do 
the will of God: 

It is characteristic of God and His angels, when they act upon the soul, to give true  
happiness and spiritual joy and to banish all the sadness and disturbances which are 
caused  by the enemy. 

It is characteristic of the evil one to fight against such happiness and consolation by 
proposing fallacious reasonings, subtleties, and continual deceptions (Rules for 
Discernment of Spirits, II, 1). 

What are we to conclude from this? That the more zealous we are in trying to please 
God, the more He will give us a deep interior peace of soul. We should suspect as a 
temptation from the evil one, when we find ourselves worried or anxious or disturbed, 
no matter how pious the source of the worry or anxiety may be. 

The key to applying this principle is that, before God, I honestly want to do His will 
even though through weakness, I may fail to live up to my resolutions. 

One basic virtue on which we should daily examine ourselves is peace of soul. We 
should ask ourselves, "Have I given in to worry or anxiety?" "Have I allowed myself to 
get discouraged?" A good practice is to pronounce the name, "Jesus," when we find 
ourselves getting despondent, or say some short aspiration like, "My Jesus, I trust in 
you," whenever we become dejected over something. 

PARTICULAR EXAMEN ON THE THEOLOGICAL VIRTUES

Before applying the particular examen to my own spiritual life, it is well to first ask 
myself, "What are the virtues that I know from experience I most need to develop?" 

The reason why this question should first be answered is that no two of us are equally 
prone to commit the same kind of sins. Nor are we personally always tempted in the 
same direction. There is wisdom in first knowing enough about myself, to be able to get 
to the root of my own moral weakness. Otherwise, I may be ignoring what really needs 
attention in my spiritual life and concentrating on what is not so necessary for me at 
this time in my service of God. 

Moreover, it would be a mistake to suppose that by attending to my moral failings, I 
am being "negative" in my pursuit of holiness. 

On the contrary. In God's providence, He allows us to fail in those areas in which He 
especially wants us to grow in virtue. 

We can fail in the practice of these virtues either by commission, omission, or by 
tepidity, in not acting as generously as we might in responding to the grace we have 
received from God. 

FAITH

1 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? 

2. Do I make at least a short act of faith every day? 

3 Do I pray daily for an increase of faith? 

4 Do I ever tempt God by relying on my own strength to cope with the trials in my life? 

5 Do I unnecessarily read or listen to those who oppose or belittle what I know are 
   truths of my Catholic faith? 

6 What have I done today to externally profess my faith? 

7 Have I allowed human respect to keep me from giving expression to my faith? 

8. Do I make a serious effort to resolve difficulties that may arise about my faith? 

9 Do I ever defend my faith, prudently and charitably, when someone says something 
   contrary to what I know is to be believed? 

10. Have I helped someone overcome a difficulty against the faith? 

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? 

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 viewpoint 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? 

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 someone'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? 

Copyright (c) 1996 EWTN

-------------------------------------------------------------------

   Provided courtesy of:

        Eternal Word Television Network
        PO Box 3610
        Manassas, VA 22110
        Voice: 703-791-2576
        Fax: 703-791-4250
        Data: 703-791-4336
        Web: http://www.ewtn.com
        FTP: ewtn.com
        Telnet: ewtn.com
        Email address: [email protected] ewtn.com

   EWTN provides a Catholic online 
   information and service system."