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Let’s train ourselves to have a proper focus

We are reminded of this very important duty to train ourselves to have a proper focus in life in that gospel episode where Christ warned about people who were just immersed in their earthly affairs without giving any thought about the disasters that were coming to them. (cfr. Lk 17,26-37)

“As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the days of the Son of Man; they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage up to the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all,” he said. “Similarly, as it was in the days of Lot: they were eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, building; on the day when Lot left Sodom, fire and brimstone rained from the sky to destroy them all.” (Lk 17,26-29)

Now that the liturgical year is approaching its end, we are reminded that there are such things as our death, the end of time and the second coming of Christ. We should be prepared always for these events, and align all the elements of our earthly life toward them. In other words, let’s have a proper focus.

For this, we definitely need to be taught so we can learn how to have that focus. But to learn, we need to study and develop the proper attitudes, practices, virtues, etc. We have to undergo a certain discipline and follow a well-thought-out plan.

Definitely, an important element in that plan would be the habit of “settling accounts” with God by making daily examinations of conscience. In our spiritual lives, it is important that we settle accounts with God regularly. In fact, saints and the Church herself have recommended that we make a daily examination of conscience just before going to bed.

This is to see if the day went as it should, that is, if love for God and neighbor is really the motive behind all our actions, and so that we at least can be reconciled with God no matter how the day went. We should at least say sorry to God, even if we still have to do things to make up for our mistakes and sins.

This is an important task, because more than just resting physically, mentally or emotionally, we need to be at peace with God at the end of the day. God is everything to us. Regardless of our status at the moment, whether good or bad, moral or immoral, God not only will tell us what to do but also will give us what we need at that time.

In this regard, let’s hope that the daily practice of examination of conscience becomes normal and widespread in us. It’s a real necessity, just like the daily accounting that business firms do if they are serious with their businesses. And frankly, can there be any more decisive human endeavor than caring for our soul, our principle of life?

The daily practice of examination of conscience means a lot of things. For one, it means that we understand that our life is not just a natural, material, individual or social affair. Or simply our life.

It would show that we know our life is a life with God and with others, pursued and developed in the spiritual and moral spheres more than in anything else. We need to do some accounting of it not only for our own interest, but also and more importantly for the sake of God and of the others.*

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December 2022
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