Mary Lou Rosien adds questions about priorities and self-care to her examination of conscience.
I use a very simple method to examine my conscience. I consider if I have sinned against God, sinned against another, or sinned against myself. To do this, I explore my relationship with each.
What does my relationship with God look like?
Do I pray enough? Serve the Church? Do I attend Mass on Sunday’s and Holy Days of Obligation? Do I keep the first three commandments?
How is my relationship with others?
Do I hold grudges? Gossip? Judge? Forgive as easily as I should? Is my temper to quick? Do I love my family and give them the attention I should? Do I keep the rest of the commandments?
Finally, what is my relationship like with myself?
Am I working diligently? Am I resting well enough? Do I keep the promises I make to myself?
Recently, I realized that I had not done a very good job in this area. I often internally criticize myself. I don’t rest enough and do not stop and take the time to enjoy the life that God has given me.
I was offered an assignment that I knew would put stress on my already overscheduled life, but (out of fear, pride, desire for financial stability) I said yes. I felt a lack of peace immediately, which a good friend always says happens when we are not following God’s will.
So how can I fix this? First, I went to Confession. I admitted my shortcoming and vowed to do better. Then, I asked the Lord to take my choice and turn it around. I asked Him to give me the time, energy, and wisdom to complete the task I had taken on. I have already felt the grace from the sacrament and my prayers! We do make mistakes, but God can take those mistakes and use them for His glory.
As a Catholic Christian woman, it can be difficult for me to find the line between (what is currently called) self-care and selflessness. I think my friend’s advice is good: pray and wait till you feel God’s peace about a decision. I do not want to become selfish or self-focused, but that is different from acknowledging my own limitations and need for rest.
Questions I can ask myself before taking on additional tasks:
Have I prayed about taking on this task?
Do I feel God’s peace about saying yes or no?
Do I have the time, talent, and ability to complete the task?
Is there something more important than this task that I should devote my energy to?
What is the motivation (deep in my heart) for saying yes or no?
Copyright 2022 Mary Lou Rosien
About the Author
Mary Lou Rosien is a Catholic wife, mom to seven, educator, writer, and speaker. She is the author of several books including Three Things Divorced Catholics need to Know and The Joy-Filled Broken Heart. She is known for her love of all things cooking and baking, especially “Friday cookies.” Visit her at CatholicFamilyBootCamp.com.