I lead a retreat for middle school students and formulated a way to do an examination of conscience based upon the Beatitudes. One of the things that I try to do here at LayEvangelist.com is to renew moral theology. What better way to stand on the ground of the Beatitudes in a truly Christian morality than to prepare the soul for Confession.
THE BEATITUDES EXAMEN
1. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Does my desire for poverty of spirit match my lifestyle?
When I pray, do I only ask God for things, instead of for a closer relationship with Him?
Do I contribute my time, talent and money to the poor of the world? Or to myself?
2. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
Do I let the pain and suffering of other people affect me, or do I ignore it?
Am I willing to admit my own pain, brokenness and be vulnerable with others?
When was the last time I really repented for my sin, or asked someone to forgive me whom I hurt?
3. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
Do I understand nonviolence as a way to fight evil with good, and do I choose to live that way?
Have I sacrificed myself for the good of another person?
Do I try and bully, guilt, or intimidate other people, including parents and teachers, to do what I want?
4. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
How much of a priority is it to love and follow Jesus Christ in my life? Honestly.
Do I really want the world to be a better place? What actions have I done to make it that way?
Have I let fear keep me silent when I should have spoken out?
5. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.”
Do I expect mercy from others, like parents or teachers, but not from myself towards others?
Are there people in my life who are suffering because of my lack of forgiveness?
Am I merciful to people to my “enemies,” or to people I just avoid or generally dislike?
6. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
Do I let popular opinions, fads, and people control how I act, or do I know who I am and what I do?
Have I led others to lust and impurity by the way I dress, through conversations, or other means?
Do I take the time for God in my life through personal and private prayer?
7. “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God.”
Am I eager for reconciliation, or do I antagonize and try to get even?
Do I start a lot of fights in my home by not trying to understand the other person’s perspective?
Do I glorify violence and hostility? Or is my presence a source of peace to those around me?
8. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Am I embarrassed to step out of the mainstream to stand up for a principle?
When was the last time I suffered for the Gospel?
Am I only a Christian when it is convenient for me, or socially acceptable?