- One is to think through the Ten Commandments and to see which have been broken (and if you aren't already aware, the Ten Commandments are about much more than not murdering or stealing). For example, "thou shalt not kill" encompasses "killing" someone with your words or even gestures. So, for example, if your needy three-year-old (ahem) received a withering look from you when she asked for another book to be read aloud after you had clearly stated it was the last one, or if your vocabulary when responding to your strident kindergartner was a little too colorful,
youI broke one of the commandments.
- Another method is to think through the seven deadly sins to see which one was a theme for the day: pride, perhaps, when your neighbor dropped by unexpectedly and the state of your house made you refrain from inviting her inside and thereby sin against charity. Wrath, maybe, depending on how many pee accidents, kid quarrels, and inadvertent pokes to your face happened that day.
- Yet another way to sort through the day is to think about yourself in relationship to those around you. We have a Christian duty to our parents, spouse, children, neighbor, parish, community ... and, well, to anyone else whom Our Lord sent to us that day. Did you love with an agape love -- that is, a love that freely bears inconvenience and discomfort for the benefit of others? At the end of the day, can you truly say that you put your husband before yourself? Did you remember to honor your parents? (Did you remember them at all today?) Did you sin against your kids? Did you scowl at the door-to-door salesman who rang your doorbell just as your 15-month-old settled down for her nap?
- Don't forget sins of omission. What you didn't do today can be even more hurtful to the heart of Jesus. Did you ignore someone in need? Did you miss an opportunity to show mercy? Did you take your husband for granted because you felt like you just didn't have one drop inside of you to give? Did you basically forget God today, rolling over in bed before you had said even a simple prayer of thanksgiving or adoration?
- Our Psalm refrain at Mass one weekend was, "The Lord is kind and merciful, slow to anger, and rich in compassion." Well, about the third time I was singing this beautiful melody, a thought popped into my head (thanks, Holy Spirit). How would my kids complete the phrase "My mom is ..."? I think a perfectly valid examination of conscience would be to fill in the blanks for yourself at the end of the day. "My mom is quick-tempered, for-giv-ing of her own sins, but slow to shoooow mer-cy ..." I can hear my five little cherubs sing.
Copyright 2018 Amanda Woodiel
About the Author
Amanda Woodiel is a Catholic convert, a mother to five children ages 11 to 3, a slipshod housekeeper, an enamored wife, and a “good enough” homeschooler who believes that the circumstances of her life -- both good and bad -- are pregnant with grace. She leads a moms' group at her parish that focuses on simple and meaningful ways to live the liturgical year at home. Amanda blogs at In a Place of Grace.