Monday, May 20, 2024

A Pentecost Examination of Conscience


A Pentecost Examination of Conscience 2024

Today, we celebrate one of the great Solemnities in our Catholic Church.  It is the Solemnity of Pentecost.  Pentecost was originally a harvest feast for the Jewish People, but of course it became the day where the Holy Spirit was first poured out on humanity.  And what happens??? The Holy Spirit immediately turns cowards into men and women of great courage who run out of their locked room and immediately start preaching the Good News of Jesus without any fear whatsoever.


I have said many times that on the day of my Confirmation, I had absolutely no idea what I was getting even though my catechists and parents likely told me 1,000 times.  It was not until I was teaching a Confirmation class in a local parish while still a seminarian that I learned what I had received at my Confirmation.  And learning the gifts that I had received through my Confirmation, it instantly changed me into a rather cowardly seminarian into a bold seminarian.

The gifts of the Holy Spirit, though, need to be opened, and if we don’t know that we have received gifts, then we can’t open them.

Confirmation is Latin for “to strengthen” and the Holy Spirit, on all of us who have been confirmed, bestows lots of gifts, and St. Paul says that the Holy Spirit a unique set of gifts and amounts of those gifts to each person.  So first of all, do you know that you have received the Holy Spirit at your confirmation, and that the Holy Spirit has given you the strength to preach the Good News of Jesus Christ without fear?  Do you also understand that the Holy Spirit has given you a unique proportion of all these gifts that the Holy Spirit has not given to any other person besides you? 


And finally, regardless of the unique way that the gifts of the Holy Spirit have been poured out upon you, Saint Paul says there are 12 fruits of the Holy Spirit.  You can find them in the Catechism and I like to use these 12 fruits as a regular examination of conscience.

Charity – do you seek to lay down YOUR life for other’s holy needs and holy desires?

Joy – do you radiate Joy to other people?

Peace – we live in a world that is always trying to upset our peace, but when you meet a peaceful person you know it.  When people meet you, do they recognize that you are at peace?

Patience – are you a person of patience?

Goodness – when you meet a person who is full of goodness, you know it instantly as well.  Do people who meet you say that they have just met a good person?

Generosity – are we generous with our time?  Are we generous with our talent and treasure?

Gentleness – Jesus promised adversity to anyone who would follow him in the world.  Do we let adversity destroy our Gentleness?

Faithfulness – are we faithful to God no matter what happens to us?

Modesty – do we dress properly?

Self-control – do we submit our various passions to our reasoning and logic or are we ruled by our passions and desires?

And the twelfth is chastity -  do we seek to live out our human sexuality according to our state in life?


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