Wednesday, March 31, 2004

In Advance of Holy Week

I really love Magnificat magazine. For those who are not yet familiar with this publication, it is a monthly missal that contains fabulous art, excellent articles, and other good stuff in it. One of the most useful things that Fr. Peter John Cameron, O.P., the editor, puts in the Holy Week issue is an examination of conscience for priests.

For those not in the know, priests every year renew their promise of obedience and respect for their bishop during the Chrism Mass. This is my favorite element of the Mass. It reminds me that as a priest I am not a "Lone Ranger." I am part of a larger whole and am called to remain in communion with the greater reality. In preparation for this renewal, Fr. Cameron has made it easier for priests to make a good, if not a great, confession. In the continuing effort to help my brother priests be greater priests, I reprint the examination here.

Have I been diligent in devoting time and energy to preaching the Gospel?
Have I been reverent in offering the holy sacrifice of the Mass?
Have I devoted myself to the Word of God?
Am I faithful in going to confession frequently?
Is my love of God evident in my conversation and actions?
Am I faithful to praying the Liturgy of the Hours?
Do I live in a recollected manner?
Am I faithful to daily private prayer?
Have I been compassionate and merciful in the confessional?
Have I shown pastoral charity to those seeking counsel?
Am I generous with my time?
Have I been present and generous to the hospitalized, the elderly, the imprisoned, and the homebound?
Have I taken the initiative in the religious education of children?
I would add initiatives for adult formation.
Am I generous in showing special concern for the poor?
Have I cultivated deeper love of the Blessed Virgin Mary?
Am I obedient to my Ordinary?
Do I live with missionary zeal?
Am I faithful to Church teaching and to the Magisterium?
Do I witness to the Gospel through a modest lifestyle?
Do I make time for spiritual reading and theological study?
Is commitment to holiness the chief priority behind my pastoral planning?
Is my life one of loving, self-sacrificing service?
Do I welcome the cross in my life and devote myself to Gospel penance?
Have I applied myself to ongoing priestly formation?
Have I made time this past year for a retreat?
Have I been a good listener to those in need?
Have I been open, patient, kind, friendly, caring, and loving to God's people?
Am I committed to giving a good example to other as another Christ?
Do I stoop to wash the feet of others?
Do I live in intimate friendship with Jesus?
Do I live the grace and gift of ministry with a sense of unending thanksgiving?
Am I devoted to becoming more like Jesus Christ in every way?
Have I lived up to the title "Father"?
Have I made visible the love of the heart of Jesus to all those I meet?

I invite any priest reader to add further matters in the comments area.

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