Oh, and I guess I lied...It was not 20 years since my last confession. I had a priest absolve my sins during that time. I was under the influence of some amazing drugs and having gallbladder surgery at the time so I suppose I can be forgiven for forgetting. I do remember the feeling of lightness from my sins (no, it wasn't just the amazing drugs!!). Even afterwards, I had thought about having a little alternative surgery done on a regular basis to have a priest give absolution without having to confess...but I forgot after even a short time. Does anyone else ever read the old testament and marvel at those silly Israelites? God would bring them out of slavery through miraculous means and they would turn around and forget. I guess we are all just as silly! The memory is so very short. But having your sins forgiven by God; hearing it from a Priest is an amazing thing. So for my Catholic sisters and brother, use Advent as a chance to go back to the sacrament and remember what you have been missing. If you regularly take advantage, good for you! And if you are a Christian brother or sister...this is just another amazing reason for Catholicism! Just one...
from google imagesNow, in my effort to make a reconciliation a regular part of my life, i am trying to attend once a month. I am trying to do an examination of conscience on a regular basis. An examination of Conscience is usually based on the 10 commandments. There are other ways to do it, but we have such a thorough process by which to accomplish this in the ten commandments. Interestingly enough, there was support for this in the first reading at Mass today, so I didn't have to look far (reading is from Isaiah 48:17-19).
Thus says the LORD, your redeemer,
the Holy One of Israel:
I, the LORD, your God,
teach you what is for your good,
and lead you on the way you should go.
If you would hearken to my commandments,
your prosperity would be like a river,
and your vindication like the waves of the sea;
Your descendants would be like the sand,
and those born of your stock like its grains,
Their name never cut off
or blotted out from my presence
So, without further ado...the 10 Commandments:
1. I am the LORD your God. You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.
have I loved God more than anything else (sex, money, power, or ambition), engaged in superstitions (horoscope), or the occult (Ouija board, seances, worship of the devil), or let someone or something influence my decisions more than God?
2. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
have I spoken with disrespect about God or failed to keep vows or promises I made to God, belittled others with my speech, or spoken obscenely?
3. Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day.
have I remembered to set aside time each day for personal prayer, shopped, done labor, or business on Sunday without a good reason, missed or neglected to take a child under my care to Mass on Sunday or on a Holy Day of Obligation?
4. Honor your father and your mother.
have I obeyed what my parents have asked of me (if I am still under their care) or failed to take care of my parents in their old age, been to my children a good example of a catholic parent, lived in humble obedience to those who legitimately exercise authority over me, and not supported politicians whose positions are in opposition to the teachings of Christ and the Catholic Church?
5. You shall not kill.
have I been involved directly or indirectly in an abortion, verbally or emotionally abused another, threatened another with physical harm, purposely provoked another by nagging, deliberately annoyed or teased another, joined a hate group or discriminated against someone, used tobacco immoderately, over-eaten, refused to forgive someone when asked, hated someone, indulged in serious anger, refused to control my temper, delighted to see someone else be hurt or suffer, engaged in animal cruelty?
6 & 9. You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not covet your neighbor's wife.
have I practiced chastity, given into lust, practiced artificial contraception, not been open to conception, without just cause, engaged in homosexuality, or dressed immodestly?
7 &10. You shall not steal.
You shall not covet your neighbor's goods.
have I stolen, envied other for their possessions, freed myself from a consumer mentality, tried to live in a spirit of Gospel poverty and simplicity, given generously to others in need, or misused natural resources?
8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
have I lied, gossiped, or ruined someones reputation and destroyed his credibility, been guilty of a rash judgement, failed to speak in defense of the Catholic faith, the Church, or another person, or betrayed anther's confidence through speech.