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Examination of Conscience Rubric

Have I practiced the virtue of Chastity? For example: • Have I permitted myself to watch movies or daytime television shows which are not edifying, which depict sexual scenarios or which advocate for cohabitation or homosexual relationships?

Have I practiced the virtue of Temperance? For example: • Have I indulged my love of sweets or snack foods, to the detriment of my health? • Have I continued to smoke heavily, or to consume alcoholic beverages excessively? • Have I been immoderate in any activity, such as watching too much TV?

Have I practiced the virtue of Charity? For example: • Have I been a “busybody,” unkind to a neighbor either by my thoughts or by my actions? • Have I had a smile for a family member or loved one, or was I critical, hurting someone’s feelings?

Have I practiced the virtue of Diligence? For example: • Have I used my physical limitations as an excuse for laziness? • Have I neglected prayer, ignored my friend’s birthday, sat around the house when I might have helped with the dishes? • Have I exercised my responsibility to become familiar with the issues, and to vote (by absentee ballot, if necessary) for the candidates who will best protect the values I hold dear?

Have I practiced the virtue of Patience? For example: • Was I unkind (or downright rude) to a telephone caller, impatient with a visitor, crabby when things didn’t go just the way I wanted? • Did I complain if someone took me to a restaurant or public place, because we had to wait for service? • Did I criticize my doctor, my caretaker, my child, for not serving me better?

Have I practiced the virtue of Kindness? For example: • Was I jealous of the attention paid to someone else, wanting everyone to notice me instead? • Did I feel angry because someone else had more money, or better health, or because my grown children did not have enough time to spend with me? • Did I compliment someone who looked good, or did I only have harsh words to say?

Have I practiced the virtue of Humility? For example: • Did I accept a compliment graciously but then move on, refusing to keep the attention turned toward myself? • Was I willing to let someone else be the center of attention? • Did I feel grateful for the kindness of my family and others, and appreciative of my caregiver’s efforts? • Did I believe that I had no need of confession, because I never even leave the house?

Lord, help us to recognize the times that we have failed to live a virtuous life—and grant us the grace of true contrition and a resolve to do Your will. Amen.

Gaudete Sunday–Rejoice

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice!” (Phil 4:4). Every third Sunday of Advent, the Church rejoices. This is known as “Gaudete Sunday”, which uses the Latin word for “rejoicing”. But, we’re still in the season of Advent, a penitential season. We are still in preparation for the coming of the Lord. In this way, the Lord is not here. Why are we rejoicing? Because “the Lord is near”.

My brother and his family are rejoicing because my nephew Ryan, their oldest child, is returning home for Christmas break soon after spending almost the entire semester at college. They are so happy that his return home is near. So many people will have the exciting experience of picking someone up from the airport for the holidays that they haven’t seen for so long. One of the best examples, though, of rejoicing at the nearness of someone’s arrival is a new baby. Of course, that is what we do at Christmas: welcome the baby Jesus. Waiting for a new baby might be the preeminent experience of being excited for someone’s near arrival. To use a phrase from today’s Gospel (Luke 3), we are “filled with expectation” throughout the Advent season for the arrival of our Lord.

This is what the Church is doing for us today by giving us “Rejoicing Sunday”. She reminds us the reason for the season which is the coming of the Lord. “The Lord is near!” While we will still endure the remaining days of Advent, we are uplifted by the announcement that the Lord is close. As we pass the halfway point and head for the home stretch, the Church gives us encouragement. “The Lord is near!”

For some, hearing that Advent is halfway over may be more of an alarm than a sound for rejoicing. They might be asking what the crowds asked John the Baptist, “what should we do?” If you feel that you haven’t been tuned into Advent yet and want to finish strongly, the first thing I would say is what St. Paul wrote, “have no anxiety at all”. This in general is easier said than done, I know. But, be at peace. The Lord has given us much practical advice through the sacred authors in today’s readings for the remaining part of our Advent journey:

1. PRAY EVERY DAY:make your requests known to God by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving”

2. DONATE TO THE OUTREACH CENTER:whoever has two cloaks should share with the person who has none. And whoever has food should do likewise

3. GO TO CONFESSION:Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus”.

Regarding the third suggestion, it seems to me that more people here are going which is awesome. We had a beautiful and inspiring turnout on Wednesday night for the Penance Service. Overall, more parishioners here are responding to the words of St. John the Baptist to prepare the way of the Lord through repentance and forgiveness of sins. And, as I’ve been saying to you for three years now, an increase in frequency in the Sacrament of Confession is an increase in freedom. This means that Confession helps us to be free from sin and more fully enjoy a clean house in preparation of the Lord’s Coming, but also it means to be free to be the people we truly want to be.

Gaudete Sunday is special for me here every year because I rejoice in being your pastor. I echo the Lord’s sentiments of you through the prophet Zephaniah: “The Lord, your God …will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love, he will sing joyfully because of you, as one sings at festivals”. I sing joyfully because of you throughout the year but especially upon Advent reflection and universal rejoicing today. “I shall say it again: rejoice!”

May you know the peace of Christ,

Fr Greg

Cry Out to Him in the Confessional

Prepare the way of the Lord

2nd Sunday of Advent

Time travel

1.  500 BC
Isaiah passage
Baruch

2.  30 AD
St John the Baptist
Messenger has arrived!
Preaching repentance
Forgiveness of sins

3.  Advent 2018 AD
Confession before Christmas
Valleys filled
Mountains lowered

Eucharist
See the salvation of God!
      “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see”

“Judgement Prep School”

33rd Sunday (Children’s Mass) – “Judgement Prep school”
Thanksgiving Day
Ten Commandments / Confession
Second Coming / Judgement
Mass / “Thank you, Jesus”

How do I come back?

“My sheep hear my voice”.  We hear this from the Lord in this Sunday’s Gospel (John 10).  If you have left the flock (Church) and want to return, how do you come back?  Here are some options:

  1. Attend Sunday Mass here at Assumption.  You will be welcomed back. Don’t be afraid.
  2. Email me at frgreg@nullassumptiondc.org to make an appointment and discuss your situation or concerns.  Don’t be afraid.
  3. Attend Sunday Mass at another parish (just to be back in the House of God) before coming back to Assumption.  Don’t be afraid.
  4. Come to Confession here on Saturday from 3:45-4:15 or anytime with me.  I’m open 24/7 for Confession.  Don’t be afraid.
  5. Review the Sunday readings here before coming to Mass.
  6. It’s worth saying one more time, do not be afraid.

 

Where’s that in the Bible?

3rd Sunday of Easter

Eucharist
Confession
Purgatory
Sola Scriptura
Resurrection / OT
   “Just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights” (Mt 12).
“You are witnesses of these things”

God Will Cure You

6th Sunday

Checklist for God’s pity / mercy

Leper came to Jesus
Out from seclusion / excommunication
Leprosy contagious: Unclean!

Kneeling down
Worship
Respect
Humility

Begged him
Confidence – Jesus will make him clean
Confession – unclean

Jesus moved with pity
If confess, God will be moved with pity
If confident, He will cure
Sin, disease, etc
Healing in confession, Eucharist, etc

Sinner or Saint?

SAA / 100 Confessions

“Saints believe they are sinners…sinners believe they are saints”

Examination of Conscience for seniors

      Seven deadly sins + virtues
Get straight with God
Don’t block the Holy Spirit
REJOICE!
    Freedom, liberty

Mass
Prepare for the coming of the Lord in the Eucharist

Make straight the way of the Lord

On this 3rd Sunday of Advent, the Church uses the halfway point to Christmas to rejoice. This is called “Gaudete Sunday” which comes from the Latin “to rejoice”. One of the things about which we rejoice, believe it or not, is in the Sacrament of Confession. Yes, we “rejoice heartily in the Lord” for this major means of help to “make straight the way of the Lord”.

Last week, I gave you a little insight into roughly the same line from Isaiah (“make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God!”) as well as a few questions to examine your conscience. The most basic way to explain what Isaiah proclaims and St. John the Baptist fulfills is to get straight with the Lord. Confession helps us to get straight with the Lord before He comes.

For many of you, it may be that you want to go to Confession, but don’t know what to confess. Typically, we prepare for the Sacrament by examining our consciences with the Ten Commandments. What may be more helpful for you is the following examination of conscience that I found online at www.patheos.com/blogs/kathyschiffer. It uses the seven deadly sins and the four cardinal virtues as a guide. I hope it helps.

Feel free to bring this into the confessional at the Penance Service on Tuesday. See you there!

May you know the peace of Christ,

Fr Greg

 

Have I practiced the virtue of Chastity?

For example:

  • Have I permitted myself to watch movies or daytime television shows which are not edifying, which depict sexual scenarios, or which advocate for cohabitation or homosexual relationships?

Have I practiced the virtue of Temperance?

For example:

  • Have I indulged my love of sweets or snack foods, to the detriment of my health?
  • Have I continued to smoke heavily, or to consume alcoholic beverages excessively?
  • Have I been immoderate in any activity, such as watching too much TV?

Have I practiced the virtue of Charity?

For example:

  • Have I been a “busybody,” unkind to a neighbor either by my thoughts or by my actions?
  • Have I had a smile for a family member or loved one, or was I critical, hurting someone’s feelings?

Have I practiced the virtue of Diligence?

For example:

  • Have I used my physical limitations as an excuse for laziness?
  • Have I neglected prayer, ignored my friend’s birthday, sat around the house when I might have helped with the dishes?
  • Have I exercised my responsibility to become familiar with the issues, and to vote (by absentee ballot, if necessary) for the candidates who will best protect the values I hold dear?

Have I practiced the virtue of Patience?

For example:

  • Was I unkind (or downright rude) to a telephone caller, impatient with a visitor, crabby when things didn’t go just the way I wanted?
  • Did I complain if someone took me to a restaurant or public place, because we had to wait for service?
  • Did I criticize my doctor, my caretaker, my child, for not serving me better?

Have I practiced the virtue of Kindness?

For example:

  • Was I jealous of the attention paid to someone else, wanting everyone to notice me instead?
  • Did I feel angry because someone else had more money, or better health, or because my grown children did not have enough time to spend with me?
  • Did I compliment someone who looked good, or did I only have harsh words to say?

Have I practiced the virtue of Humility?

For example:

  • Did I accept a compliment graciously but then move on, refusing to keep the attention turned toward myself?
  • Was I willing to let someone else be the center of attention?
  • Did I feel grateful for the kindness of my family and others, and appreciative of my caregiver’s efforts?
  • Did I believe that I had no need of confession, because I never even leave the house?

Lord, help us to recognize the times that we have failed to live a virtuous life—and grant us the grace of true contrition and a resolve to do Your will. Amen.