God’s Mercy in Confession
- Posted by Mary's Advocates
- On January 8, 2018
“Only if we are clear about the greatness of God’s call in marriage and family life will see the importance of our responsibilities, the way sin undermines these, and how the Sacrament of Reconciliation can restore familial relationships. We need not fear. Rather we should rejoice that Jesus has thought us worthy of so marvelous a calling as husbands and wives, fathers and mothers. We can find great strength in his saving presence, power and life” (Fr. Thomas Weinandy)
AN EXAMINATION OF CONSCIENCE FOR MARRIED PERSONS
Responsibilities to my spouse
- Have I cared for my spouse? Have I been generous with my time? Have I been affectionate and loving? Have I told my spouse that I love him or her? [Mary’s Advocates highlighted in blue patterns exhibited by abandoners]
- Have I been concerned about the spiritual well-being of my spouse?
- Have I listened to my spouse? Have I paid attention to his or/her concerns, worries, and problems? Have I sought these out?
- Have I allowed resentments and bitterness toward my spouse to take root in my mind? Have I nurtured these? Have I forgiven my spouse for the wrongs he or she has committed against me?
- Have I allowed misunderstanding, miscommunication or accidents to cause anger and mistrust? Have I nurtured critical and negative thoughts about my spouse?
- Have I manipulated my spouse in order to get my own way?
- Have I tried to bully or overpower my spouse?
- Have I spoken sharply or sarcastically to my spouse? Have I spoken in a demeaning or negative way?
- Have I injured my spouse through taunting and negative teasing? Have I called my spouse harsh names or used language that is not respectful?
- Have I physically abused my spouse? [Mary’s Advocates highlighted in red offenses that are legitimate reason for separation of spouses for the innocent party]
- Have I gossiped about my spouse?
- Have I undermined the authority and dignity of my spouse through disrespect and rebelliousness?
- Have I been moody and sullen?
- Have I bickered with my spouse out of stubbornness and selfishness?
- Have I lied or been deceitful to my spouse?
- Have I misused sexuality? Have I used sexual relations solely for my own selfish pleasure?
- Have I been too demanding in my desire for sexual fulfillment? Have I been loving and physically affectionate in my sexual relations or have I used sexual relations in a way that would be demeaning or disrespectful to my spouse? Have I refused sexual relations out of laziness, revenge or manipulation?
- Have I refused to conceive children out of selfishness or material greed? Have I used artificial means of contraception?
- Have I masturbated?
- Have I had an abortion or encouraged others to have one?
- Have I flirted or fostered improper relationships with someone else, either in my mind or through words and actions?
- Have I used pornography: books, magazines or movies?
- Have I committed adultery?
- Have I misused alcohol or drugs?
- Have I been financially responsible?
Responsibilities to children:
- Have I cared for the spiritual needs of my children? Have I been a shepherd and guardian as god has appointed me? Have I tried to foster a Christian family where Jesus is Lord? Have I taught my children the Gospel and the commandments of God?
- Have I prayed with them?
- Have I been persistent and courageous in my training and teaching? Have I disciplined them when necessary? Have I been lazy and apathetic?
- Have I talked with them to find out their problems, concerns and fears? Have I been affectionate toward them? Have I hugged them and told them that I love them? Have I played or recreated with them?
- Have I been impatient and frustrated with them? Have I corrected them out of love in order to teach them what is right and good? Have I treated them with respect? Have I spoken to them in a sarcastic or demeaning way?
Have I held resentments against them? Have I forgiven them?
- Have I been of one heart and mind with my spouse in the upbringing of the children? Or have I allowed disagreements and dissension to disrupt the training, educating and disciplining of our children?
- Have I undermined the role of authority in the eyes of my children by speaking negatively against God, the Church, my spouse or others who hold legitimate authority over them?
- Have I been a good Christian witness to my children in what I say and do? Or do I demand one standard for them and another for myself?
- Have I been properly generous with my children regarding money and physical and material well-being? Have I been miserly? Have I been extravagant, thus spoiling them?
From: Weinandy, Thomas, O.F.M. Cap. (Executive director of the Secretariat of Doctrine and Canonical Affairs of USCCB 2005-2013). “The Two Shall Become One: The Sacrament of Reconciliation and Marriage. www.usccb.org, 2014.