Tag Archive: Introspection


What’s Important to YOU?

importall

A few days ago, I asked you, “Are You Important?” Your answer is between you and God and no one else will know what was decided. As I think about that question, though, I wonder if this question should have been asked first, “What is Important to you?” It probably doesn’t matter which comes first, but I think knowing what is important to us will help us shape our impression of ourself. So let’s follow that question, now.

I will list ten things in no special order. I want you to think about each. On a scale of 1 to 10 grade them accordingly. A one, represents the least important; and a ten, the most important to you. Before we begin, let’s get one thing clear. No one is listening, or raising their eyebrows at your selections. This is a time for each of us to be honest with ourselves, and try to understand our own motives a little bit better. Ok… so here is the list. No numbers yet:

THE IMPORTANCE OF.

– What others think about me?______________________________________
– What do I see as being most desirable to possess?_________________
– What am I afraid that others may know about me?_________________
– Must I have the last word in an argument?_________________________
– What makes people likeable in my eyes?___________________________
– How often do I pray when not in church?__________________________
– How often do I go to church?_____________________________________
– What people(s) do I instinctively shrink back from?________________
– When was the last time I truly praised someone else? _____________
– Do I like myself?_________________________________________________

Ok, so now what? Before you start assigning numbers and erasing and moving the results around, take one question, any question. Start where ever you want to. Don’t begin thinking of numbers, but rather for each question, ask yourself?

– What feeling does this question cause me? Is it happy or sad?
– Do I feel comfortable or uncomfortable?
– Because of this, do I see any faults within me?
– What areas need to be addressed?
– Will this be corrected by reading, talking, or soul searching?
– How critical is this to my improvement?

THEN PUT A NUMBER TO IT.

(This actually is a good way to process our feelings, anytime. It gets us looking at our feelings honestly and trying to understand them.)

They are not in any special order, None carry more weight than any of the others. They are distributed over emotional, psychological, spiritual, financial, and personal choices. There is no right or wrong answer. These answers are just possible avenues whereby we can know ourselves just a little bit better. I am not a psychologist, or anything like that. There may be absolutely no value to what is listed above, or the process outlined. These are listed, solely, to help us know ourselves a little bit better. Why? The next time we pray to our God, or favorite saint and we list our problems, our hopes, our fears, our worries, maybe we will have a little bit better picture of who is doing the praying and the asking. For what is important to us, will surely play a role in shaping our motives, our actions. They might even tell us where our own importance lies and what we need to work on.

The 4 Posts directly below, blend with this theme. They continue the thought. Thanks for coming:

1) Purgatory
2) The First Day Without Ashes
3) Just One Thing: Take His Hand
4) Rcia, Jesus In Sacramental Actions

Purgatory

Souls ready for entrance to Heaven

In the book, “The Mist of Mercy”, authored by Anne, a lay apostle, there is a section on Purgatory, I would like to address. No definitive, final judgment has been made by the Magisterium of the Catholic Church concerning the supernatural character of the messages received by Anne, a lay apostle. Nevertheless, the book has been permitted by the Church to be printed. It is in the spirit of viewing this work as spiritual food for thought and not necessarily as Divine Revelation, these comments are made. Like others, we await the final determination of this work’s authenticity, by the Magisterium.

The book contains quite a few sections where Jesus and Anne converse. The section on Purgatory is described by her as Jesus leads her from one level to the next. It is about the level farthest from Heaven (or closest to Hell) about which I wish to discuss. (Realize that this one or two page document will hardly do justice to the work about which we are discussing.)

In the level of Purgatory where the only relief given is the knowledge that Heaven will eventually be theirs, there is great anguish or so it seems. Each soul must come to terms with their sinfulness. The lives and souls affected by their unjust deeds weigh heavily upon them. Souls in this level, “…are compelled, by justice and the need for cleansing and purification, to revisit each sin and each impact of each sin on the souls of others, as well as the impact on the souls impacted by others. This, surely, is a heavy but absolutely necessary burden.” -1 Farther on, in the book, is discussed how we, the living, through our prayers can greatly affect the length of stay, each soul must remain in Purgatory.

It is about this last level, however that we speak to, in this post. All of us will need to, either now or later, look at our sinfulness, our transgressions, and come to terms with them. We will need to understand and feel how much we have hurt others, and therefore Christ, Himself. When we begin this thought process, this emotional status-check, we must be convinced already of our salvation, of Christ’s love for us. For without that, is to be in hell already.
So what can we do? Where do we start? First and foremost we must thank Christ, truly thank Him for redeeming us, forgiving us of everything ignoble about our lives. We must mean it with every fiber of our existence. After that, we should look at the following aspects of our lives and reflect upon each one carefully:

How do we think of others? How much have we hurt others with what we have done? Do we think ourselves better than others? If we do, then we will treat them accordingly, and as a result, hurt them. Do we help people? Is the help because we want to, or because we will feel noble, or because the person needs it? How do we treat our spouse, our children, our employees, our employer? Do we look differently at persons of color, of different races, of different religions? Where do our morals take us? How important is money, and material things in our life? What are we willing to do to gain money, fame and power? Are we slaves to food, drugs, alcohol, sex? What steps are we taking, to control these vicious enticements?

These, and thousands more, questions we can and must ask ourselves. Each of us has demons that we want to conceal, that we want to be rid of, or that we wish to cater to. Like a surgeon’s scalpel, our introspection must critically cut away the excuses, the “yeah, buts” in our life. We must see ourselves, our motives, our actions in the light of what do they do to others? What affect do they have with our family? Our neighbors? Our co-workers? Who will suffer as a result of them? To view them, in such a fashion, is how they will be viewed in Jesus’ gaze. We must pray to be strong so that we can be honest in our assessment. All we have to gain is eternal life.

-1 “The Mist of Mercy”, by Anne, a lay apostle, published by Direction For Our Times.