Saturday, January 1, 2011

Examen for 2011

From JH Newman's The World is Our Enemy-- Plain and Parochial Sermons

I thought this part was a good examination of conscience for where I very often go wrong, and outline of things to work on for 2011!   I like it that he talks about the temptations common to "good people" who don't usually break the commandments overtly but still aren't exactly saints yet (that would be me...)

The whole sermon is good reading.  The emphases are mine, and I reformatted the questions to make it closer to bullet-type format.  I'm going to try to re-read this regularly to see if I'm making any progress. 

And thus, on the whole, the state of the case is as follows: that if we look through mankind in order to find out who make up the world, and who do not, we shall find none who are not of the world; inasmuch as there are none who are not exposed to infirmity. So that if to shun the world is to shun some body of men so called, we must shun all men, nay, ourselves too—which is a conclusion which means nothing at all.

But let us, avoiding all refinements which lead to a display of words only, not to the improvement of our hearts and conduct, let us set to work practically; and instead of attempting to judge of mankind on a large scale, and to settle deep questions, let us take what is close at hand and concerns ourselves, and make use of such knowledge as we can obtain.

Are we tempted to neglect the worship of God for some temporal object? this is of the world, and not to be admitted.

Are we ridiculed for our conscientious conduct? this again is a trial of the world, and to be withstood.

Are we tempted to give too much time to our recreations;
to be idling when we should be working;
reading or talking when we should be busy in our temporal calling;
hoping for impossibilities, or
fancying ourselves in some different state of life from our own;
over anxious of the good opinion of others;
bent upon getting the credit of industry, honesty, and prudence
all these are temptations of this world.

Are we discontented with our lot, or are we over attached to it, and fretful and desponding when God recalls the good He has given? This is to be worldly-minded.

Look not about for the world as some vast and gigantic evil far off—its temptations are close to you, apt and ready, suddenly offered and subtle in their address. Try to bring down the words of Scripture to common life, and to recognize the evil in which this world lies, in your own hearts.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. So many of these hit home. Thank you (I think!) for posting this.


I would love to hear your thoughts on this!