The 4th Commandment:
"Honor your father and your mother." (Ex 20:12)
- Do I still have unconfessed sins from childhood that include dishonoring or disobeying my parents?
- As an adult whose parents are still alive, Iím not bound to obey them in the strict sense, but do I show them disrespect? Do I work against them or ignore their good desires?
- Have I neglected to express my gratitude to my parents for giving me life? How about for giving me love, or the training that has made me what I am?
- Have I dishonored my parents (or anyone) by saying unloving things about or to them? By insulting them? By arguing without trying to understand them?
- Have I failed to forgive them for everything that has hurt me?
- Have I refused to be generous with them, holding back my time or money?
- When did they experience difficulties and I neglected to provide moral support?
- What about the other parents of my faith: godparents, pastors, catechists, teachers, siblings, friends, etc.? Have I failed to honor them, treat them well, and give them thanks?
- God designed my own marriage to be a sacramental, covenant community: When have I given my spouse less than the best of me? Our relationship should mutually benefit both of us: When have I been more concerned about myself?
- Is the procreation and education of children a low priority, taking a back seat to my career, possessions or other things of the world?
- Do I give my family members less devotion than I give to my job, my leisure activities or my friends?
- Have my demands on children ever been unjust and unfair? Were they inappropriate for the children and for the family as a whole?
- Parents are the image of God to their children. What have I done that creates an image of God as something Heís not: distant, unforgiving, uncaring, abusive, undependable, giving love only as a reward, etc.?
- What have I done that has kept my home from being conducive to forgiveness, fidelity and service to one another? For example, when did I fail to help with othersí chores, homework, or emotional needs? When did I set a poor example of forgiveness and understanding?
- Have I neglected my responsibility to bring prayer and scripture into my home? Or in taking seriously the Christian familyís role in evangelization and service?
- Have I encouraged, by example and by what Iíve permitted, individualism over community life? I have, if Iíve allowed a television in every room or other activities that keep my family apart when it's not necessary.
- Have I taught my children, by my example, to be selfish, alcoholic, abusive, too busy for God or each other, liars, or money-worshipers? What other bad behaviors did they learn from me?
- If Iím civilly divorced or separated, have I disregarded Church teachings on the Sacrament and permanence of marriage? Have I forsaken the help offered by the Church for reconciliation or for getting an annulment? Have I refused to seek the forgiveness of my spouse for my hatred and anger? God wants me to both forgive and to seek forgiveness, even if my spouse and I remain apart.
- Have I neglected my childrenís religious education? Have I poorly encouraged participation in Mass or CCD? Have I ignored other opportunities to sponsor their spiritual growth? Have I relied on others to provide most of their training, instead of acknowledging my role as their primary educator?
- Have I failed to lead my children to frequent Confession?
- Have I discouraged in any way the possibility of my children being called to the priesthood or the consecrated religious life?
- How have I held my children back from becoming all that God has designed them to be, including in their self-esteem, talents, relationships with others, and their present or future careers?
- Am I so attached to my parents (or anyone) that they come before God in my life?
- How well do I honor and respect legitimate civil authorities? All authority to govern comes from God. Have I neglected to vote regularly? To pay my taxes honestly? To serve my country to the best of my ability?
- When civil authorities abuse their power, do I ignore it or complain about it, instead of working against this abuse and defending the truth of the Gospel?
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