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March

Home catholic 12MonthExamen Confession

March — Love Of God

The love of God is the highest and strictest obligation binding on all men. No one should ever forget the answer of Christ to the question: "Which is the first and greatest commandment of the law?" His words were simple, direct, forceful: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart and with thy whole soul, with thy whole mind and with all thy strength." Without the fulfillment of this law, therefore, all striving for other virtues and qualities would be without profit.

Every sin ever committed is an action contrary to the love of God. But in this examination of conscience, only those sins and faults shall be included which in some way involve a direct slighting of the person of God or of His authority, or a breaking of those commands which are specifically directed towards the maintenance and strengthening of the love of God in the soul, or an expression of disregard or contempt or hatred of God. An exception shall be made even here: all sins committed in speech against God shall be reserved for the examination of next month—on Reverence for God. Of course, the love of God as expressed in love of neighbor shall be reserved for later treatment.

The love of God is the infused theological virtue by which we love God above all other things because of His infinite perfection and lovableness, and manifest that love in thought, word and deed. (Let it be noted again that the love of neighbor is really a part of the love of God, because it has the same motive, namely, God Himself, in whom all one's neighbors are to be loved. This will be shown in the examination on the love of neighbor.) The love of God forbids, in general, the neglect of duties and obligations that spring from love, as well as the misuse or degrading of things given by God or dedicated to Him.

  1. Mortal Sins

  1. Have I neglected to fulfill the precept of going to confession at least once a year?

  1. Have I failed to observe the law, which commands me to receive Holy Communion during the Paschal season?

  1. Have I missed Mass on a Sunday or a holyday without a sufficient reason?

  1. Have I, as a mother or father or guardian, caused or permitted my children who are above the age of reason, to miss Mass on Sundays or holydays of obligation?

  1. Have I induced others to miss Mass on Sundays, or approved of their so doing?

  1. Have I without reason come late to Mass, missing the Offertory, or have I left before the Communion of the Mass?

  1. Have I tried to do serious bodily injury to any person consecrated to God?

  1. Have I engaged in servile work, such as gardening, building, repairing, sewing, laundering, etc., for more than two hours on the Lord's Day, when there was no urgent reason for so doing?

  1. Have I made others work on Sunday when it was not necessary?

  1. Have I broken a serious vow made to God, by which I had bound myself under pain of mortal sin?

  1. Have I committed a sacrilege by receiving the Sacrament of Communion, Confirmation, or Matrimony while in the state of mortal sin?

  1. Have I tried to lead a person bound to God by the vow of chastity into sin against his vow?

  1. Have I stolen something valuable from the House of God, whether an article used in divine services or money given to the Church?

  1. Have I deliberately mocked or made fun of the Sacraments or the Mass or any of the liturgical functions?

II. Venial Sins

  1. Have I been unconcerned and indifferent about acquiring a strong and faithful love of God?

  1. Have I performed my external duties to God, such as hearing Mass, saying my prayers, receiving the Sacraments, in a distracted, impersonal, halfhearted manner?

  1. Have I seldom, if ever, made a real act of love of God, except such as were implicit in the fulfillment of other duties?

  1. Have I been disrespectful to God's very presence in church, by profane and useless talking and worldly actions?

  1. Have I failed to think of the passion and death of the Son of God in my own sufferings, thus permitting myself to grumble and complain instead of making an act of love and submission?

  1. Have I been unfaithful to little promises made to God?

  1. Have I never shown my love of God by means of gratitude for the many favors He has given me?

  1. Have I given in to worldly desires, which I knew in the beginning to be inconsistent with the love of God?

  1. Have I been so fond of some venial sin like petty gossip, or vanity, or exaggerating, that I have made no effort to overcome it?

  1. Have I never made the good intention of doing everything for love of God?

  1. Have I been disrespectful towards, or concerning those, whom God has placed over me and who represent God?

III. Helps And Counsels

  1. Have I made an effort to arouse strong desires of the love of God in my heart?

  1. Have I repeated a direct act of love of God in the morning, at definitely proposed times during the day, in moments of suffering and misery, at night before retiring?

  1. Have I labored to acquire the habit of frequently renewing my intention of doing all things for the love of God?

  1. Have I given any time to the thought of God's goodness, in creating me out of nothing, in redeeming me with His Blood, in raising me to the supernatural state, and surrounding me with means to advance in virtue?

  1. Have I trained myself to see God's hand and God's love in the natural blessings I enjoy—blessings of family, friends, education, surroundings, innocent enjoyments, etc., and then to thank Him by a return of love?

  1. Have I frequently turned my mind to the greatest proof of God's love—His death on the Cross—that I might be inspired to stronger love?

  1. Have I received Holy Communion frequently, realizing that the best proof of love is union with the one beloved?

  1. Have I made special acts of love of God at the time of Mass and Communion, realizing that these bring me closest to God?

  1. After a venial sin, have I made an act of love of God and determined to become perfect in my habit of love?

  1. Have I subjected all my affections to the love of God, trying to make them perfectly conformed to His will so that I can say I love all things and persons in and with God?

  1. Have I readily conformed my will to God's will, not only by keeping His commandments, but also by consenting to His will when He has permitted some misfortune to befall me?

  1. Have I tried to know God better that I might love Him more, by reading, listening to sermons, studying?

  1. Have I realized that the love of God is not necessarily accompanied by emotional feelings and warm sentiments, and that it is more meritorious if, without these things, I continue the practices of love?

Ejaculatory Prayer: Jesus, my God, I love Thee above all things. (300 days indulgence.) [57]

Prayer: O great Lord of heaven and earth, Infinite Good, Infinite Majesty, who hast loved men so tenderly, how is it that Thou art so much despised by them? Yet amongst those men, O my God, Thou hast loved me in a particular manner and hast bestowed on me special graces that have not been given to so many others. And I have despised Thee more than others. I deserve to be cast off on account of my frequent ingratitude to Thee. But Thou hast said that Thou wilt not reject a penitent soul that returns to Thee. My Jesus, I am sorry for having offended Thee. I now acknowledge Thee for my Lord and Redeemer, who hast died in order to save me and to be loved by me. I this day resolve to love Thee with my whole heart, and to love nothing but Thee. I adore Thee for all those who do not adore Thee, and I love Thee for all those who do not love Thee. My Lord, give me Thy love, but a fervent love which will make me forget all creatures; a strong love, which will make me conquer all difficulties in order to please Thee; a perpetual love which will never be dissolved between me and Thee. O Mary, my Mother, fill my heart with love for my Saviour!