Today’s first reading from Daniel and the Gospel from John both address the issue of identifying, knowing, and loving God. This means to obey the first Commandment, which states: You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.
It is said that the key to a happy heart is a clean conscience. During Lent, we are called not only to confess our sins, but to make a good confession of our sins. This means knowing what acts or thoughts are considered sinful and completing a thorough examination of conscience before entering the confessional.
The Handbook for Serrans Called to Holiness provides a comprehensive guide to completing the examination of conscience, combing carefully through each of the Ten Commandments, the Five Precepts, and our spiritual obligations as Serrans.
Have you been unwavering in living in accord with the First Commandment and all that it entails? The Handbook for Serrans suggests you ask yourself the following questions in order to find out:
· Did I deny or doubt God's existence?
· Did I refuse to believe God's revelation?
· Did I believe in horoscopes, fortune telling, dreams, good luck charms or reincarnation or other occult practices?
· Did I deny that I was a Catholic?
· Did I leave the Catholic faith?
· Was I involved in the New Age Movement, Eastern Religions, atheism or agnosticism?
· Was I guilty of apostasy?
· Did I belong to a schismatic group?
· Was I involved with the Freemasons or other secret societies?
· Did I despair of or presume on God's mercy?
· Did I receive Holy Communion in the state of mortal sin?
· Did I presume on God's mercy by committing sins and then expecting absolution by going to confession?
· Did I hate God?
· Was I guilty of simony (the buying or selling of blessed and holy items)?
· Did I fail to receive Holy Communion at least once a year, especially during Easter?
· Did I neglect prayer for a long time?