Saturday, February 28, 2015

Another Good Examination of Conscience

This one comes from Father John A. Kane. I will share the ones not often found in other Examination of Conscience books or booklets.  It is taken from his How to Make a Good Confession and published by Sophia Institute Press.  I highly recommend this little book.

1.  Have I been ungrateful to God for His benefits?

2.  Do I try to hide from God because I love my sin or because I do not have strength of will to make sacrifices for His sake?

3.  Have I failed to give God the respect, the love, and the simplicity of a child toward his Father?

4.  Am I unwilling to cast out and destroy everything that makes my soul unworthy to be the dwelling place of the three divine Persons?

5.  Have I grumbled against God's will?

6.  Do I refuse to accept troubles that come to me as a means of salvation?

7.  Do I trouble others with my grievances?

8.  Have I ignored Christ's voice within my soul when He has asked me for some sacrifice?

9.  Do I lack peace of soul because I don't trust God?

10.  Have I been too proud to accept well-merited correction, even from my confessor?

11.  Do I rely solely on myself and not on God?

12.  Do I rely solely on myself and not on God?

13.  Do I neglect my duties as a creature to my Creator?

14.  Do I have an exaggerated fear of death?  Do I trustfully abandon my past to God's mercy and my future to His love?

15.  Have I abandoned the Catholic Faith?

16.  Have I joined a non-Catholic church?

17.  Have I refused to believe any truths of the Faith or any teachings of the Church?

18.  Did I fail to profess or defend the Faith when required to do so?

19.  Did I read materials or associate with people who  might endanger my faith?

20.  Have I attended or taken part in the marriage of a Catholic in a wedding not approved by the Church.

21.  Have I been unfaithful to daily prayer?

22.  Have I received Holy Communion without reverence?  Have I neglected to make a proper thanksgiving after receiving?

23.  Do I neglect to read Scripture?

24.  Do I let my religious practices annoy others?

25.  Do I neglect to try to correct myself, remembering that I should always strive for perfection?

26. Have I evaded an opportunity to enlighten someone on religious truth?

27.  Do I use God's name carelessly, in anger, or in surprise?

28.  Am I disrespectful, impolite, or discourteous toward my family?

29.  Do I mistreat belittle, or abuse my children?

30.  Am I disrespectful toward the elderly?

31.  Do I endanger my health by eating too little or sleeping too little?

32.  Am I too concerned about my health or my appearance?

33.  Have I attributed bad motives to others, when I could not be certain of their motives?

34. Have I used harsh or abusive language toward another?

35.  Am I rude, impolite, or inconsiderate?

36.  As a husband or wife, have I failed prudently to make an effort to prevent the sins of my spouse?

37.  Have I neglected my duty of preventing those in my charge from committing sin, or correcting them after they have failed?

39.  Am I dating someone who is civilly divorced but is still bound by a valid marriage?

40.  Do I waste money or spend it extravagantly?

41.  Do I waste goods or food?

42.  Have I been stingy with my time, money and talents?

43.  Have I criticized anyone uncharitably?

44.  Am I greedy?

45.  Am I selfish?

46.  Do I indulge in self-pity?

48.  Am I proud?

49.  Am I vain?

50. Do I desire to be praised?

51.  Do I show off?

52.  Have I exaggerated my success?

53.  Have I minimized or explained away my failures?

54.  In my spirituality, do I seek mere personal excellence?

55.  Am I touchy and hypersensitive?

56.  Do I magnify the least oversight or thoughtlessness into an insult or deliberate slight?

57. Am I envious of someone's possessions, talents, or blessings?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Meatless Friday Recipe - Pierogies

My goodness! I just remembered that I should have been sharing recipes for Lent!

Here is one of our family's favorite lunch time meals. In order to make it for dinner, just make more of them and add a salad and maybe soup as well.  I hope you don't think it strange that we would cook a Polish delicacy with an Asian twist. My sister first made these for me and I found them to be so yummy.

For those of you on the mainland, and especially in the New York City/northern New Jersey area, I am sure will have no problem finding authentic and delicious Pierogi.  If you live in Hawaii, you may have to make your own or settle for Mrs. T.  in the freezer section of the local supermarket.  NOTE:  I would suggest making them yourselves.  It is not difficult.  We prefer the potato and cheese one but there are many variations to try.

Since I am still on the quest to find the right dough for Pierogi I will not share my favorite recipe, because I still do not have one.  But I did find a website chock full of information on the humble but delicious Pierogi. Tasting Poland

Here is my sister's version of the Pierogi with butter and onions.

Pierogi approximately 7 or 8 large ones.  (In order to make enough for your family, or approximately 4 or 6 large ones for each person, just modify the amounts of the butter, oil and green onions) - Boil until they float and drain.
1/4 cup of chopped green onions (scallions for you in New Jersey)
2 TBSP butter (and 2 TBSP. Extra Virgin Olive Oil in order not to use so much butter especially during Lent).

Heat a large skillet and add the butter and olive oil.  Keep the skillet on medium heat.  When the butter and oil are bubbling, add the green onions and then gently place the Pierogi in a single layer on top of the butter/oil and green onions.  Cook until the Pierogi are nicely browned on the bottom and turn and brown the other side.  The green onions should also be browned but be careful not to burn them.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Ida, Night and Christian Martyrs

Spoiler Alert.

The annual Academy awards brought interest in the foreign film Ida. I must admit that the movie had been sitting in our Netflix queue for awhile before we finally felt a push to watch it.

It has been my experience that European movies with Catholic themes have not treated Catholicism with much reverence or respect. Maybe it is the culture, but I have found that a movie such as the one on Saint Hildegard of Bingen, Vision, offended my sensibilities. An example is the common occurrence of men and and women, more specifically, nuns and priests, kissing each other full on the mouth. Therefore, before watching Ida, I checked out Steven D. Greydanus' review. You can watch the quick review here.

Short summary, this movie is about a young sister about to take her vows.  She contacts her only living relative, an aunt and soon learns that she was in fact a Jewish girl.  She and her very promiscuous aunt, a Communist prosecutor, go on a journey to find out what happened to Ida's family.

They find out the very horrific fact that her family had been murdered.  She alone survived the killing. The aunt finds out her son had also been murdered.  And, the movie continued.

The movie itself was very interesting from the beginning.  Based on what I could find by Catholic reviews, I trusted that the movie would not offend.  But offend it did.   I could understand why the aunt went to men for comfort or why she drank.  It wasn't surprising that she ended up taking her own life.  But what I really had trouble with was that this young nun, sheltered practically her whole life in a convent, leaves the convent as she is about to take her vows and starts experiencing life.  She dresses in her dead aunt's high heels and tight dress, she goes to a nightclub and she ends up losing her virginity to an admirer.  At the end, she leaves the man, puts her habit back on and apparently goes back to the convent.

I am not sure why I chose to read Elie Wiesel's Night during Lent.  It is a difficult and dark book to read.  What it very troubling is the loss of faith and the loss of hope by the writer.  He was a young and self-described devout Jewish teen when his family was forced from their home and taken to the concentrations camps.

It is the lack of courage by the Jews, the trust they have in the tormentors, they way they turn on each other, and Wiesel's anger with God that makes this book a poor read.  I was hoping that in the middle of their suffering and persecution, he would have held on to hope.  But the anger, the rebellion towards God was just too much.  I am not through with the book yet (almost done) so I hope by the end of the book, I would have been wrong about Wiesel.

Finally, there is the almost daily reporting of Christians being killed simply for professing a faith in Jesus Christ.  They die with Jesus on their lips.  They give me hope.