Daily Self Examination
Reflecting on the 8 passions and reviewing the long list of sins can help shed light on areas that require improvement. Ask yourself the following questions:
We all know the classic definition of gluttony – eating too much. But gluttony can be much more. Gluttony is taking something and making it destructive by overdoing it.
Did I often eat and/or overeat or have a full stomach at meals?
Did I eat in secret, or think about and obsess over food.
Did I frequently eat excessive amounts of sweets and unhealthy food?
Did I frequently drink alcohol
Do I drink alcohol on a daily basis?
Do I often drink too much alcohol or get drunk?
Do I have health problems that are related to my diet and eating habits?
Lust is a natural, sexual desire that is being used or fulfilled improperly. Lust is easy to hide, which causes us to think that it is “no big deal.” We must realize that sins of lust can have life-long consequences. Lust can be defined as receiving sexual gratification from any source outside of my spouse in marriage (not just actions, but thoughts as well).
Did I keep my eyes/thoughts pure today?
Did I seek to gain gratification today from any source outside of my spouse?
Did I have sexual desires for someone else, or am I obsessed with someone in a way that is not in accordance with marital union?
Do I engage in unnatural sexual acts?
Do I think about sex, and entertain sexual thoughts many times throughout the day?
Do I frequently objectify others, or think about others in a lustful way?
Do my lustful actions cause hurt to other people?
Did I put myself into a position of temptation today that I know is wrong?
Did I do anything today to bring dishonor to my body, which is the temple of God?
Greed is a subtle sin. Very few people ever confess this sin, although many suffer from it. Greed isn’t just the desire for money. Greed is wanting more than we need. It can be material possessions, popularity, love or many others. Greed is anytime we become obsessed with achieving something.
What did I greatly desire today? (Do I desire this more than God?)
Did I often think about money and have an insatiable desire for wealth and possessions?
Did I have persistent fears related to finances and physical comforts?
Is the desire for financial success and accumulation of money, wealth and possessions a primary objective?
Does my love for money cause harm to others, especially by omission, disregard and hoarding?
Did I avoid opportunities for charity?
Did I decline to share something with someone?
What made me very happy or very sad today? (this could indicate an area of greed)
Anger is much more than just losing my temper and yelling. The Bible describes anger as a sin of mental attitude. Anger is a sin which promotes sins against other people, such as gossip, self-righteous judging, complaining, etc.
Did I lose my temper with anyone today? Yelling? Cursing?
Did I feel anger, hatred or rage towards people or situations?
Did I tell myself why I am justified in my anger or hatred?
Am I quick to judge and reject people?
Did my anger often lead to a state that is irrational?
Did my anger ever manifest itself in physical acts towards people or other physical actions?
Did I think and/or say anything negative about another person today?
Did I engage in any heated arguments?
Is there anyone that I am unwilling to forgive? Any grudges I am holding on to?
Despair & Despondency
Did I have fears and anxieties about events or people?
Did I feel hopelessness, dejection or overwhelmed?
Did I fret over events that have not occurred?
Did I have a hard time getting up and starting my day?
Did I have a lack of interest in people and life?
Did I cause others to worry about me because of my unhappiness and despondency?
Pride & Vain Glory
Pride is the deadliest sin of all. It caused the fall of Adam and Eve and caused Lucifer to be kicked out of heaven. Pride blinds us to our true spiritual condition and causes us to think more highly of ourselves than we should. When I am proud, ‘myself’ becomes more important than anyone else. Pride makes us want to appear to be something in the eyes of others.
Who did I care most about pleasing today? God or another person?
Did I ask for God’s help throughout the day or did I do things on my own?
Do I feel like I am always right and have to argue until I prove it?
How do I respond to criticism from others?
Do I often cause hurt to others simply by my mood, by neglect, by lack of interest?
Did I struggle to be grateful and thankful towards people?
Did I worry about my appearance?
Did I feel embarrassed and insecure?
Did I fear that people won’t or do not like me?
Did I compare myself (or my situation) with anyone else today?
Did I feel sorry for myself at any time today?
Did I engage in any gossip?
Was I stubborn in something?
Does someone else’s success lead me to bitterness/resentment?
Did I do things to win peoples favor?
Did I have a deep desire for fame, glory and respect?
You may think to yourself “I don’t have to worry about this one because I am a hard-working person.” You may be hard working in certain areas [career, school, exercise], but there is still more.
Did I feel discontent, dissatisfied and brood over myself?
Am I quick to be lazy and inactive?
Did I spend hours occupied in superfluous distractions.
Was I moody, unhappy and selfish?
Did I sleep too much or lay around too much?
Did I spend too much time in front of screens? (TV, telephone, computer)
Did I put my full effort into my relationship with God today? Quiet time? Prayer? Bible reading?
Was I conscientious in my relationship with my spouse? Children? Parents? Siblings?
Was I faithful in my service to God and the Church today?
Did I use my time wisely today? Was I faithful with the time God gave me?
Have I spent time in prayer?
You may find that you answered yes too many of these. Don’t be discouraged for this is entirely normal and expected. If you answer “yes, occasionally” to many of these questions chances are you have interior work to do. If you answered “yes, often”, this may be an indication of an obvious pattern or habit, in which case you probably have a battle a head of you.