"I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent." Luke 15:7
“Am I doing better than I was last year?” “How am I doing overall?”
1. How’s your prayer life coming? Are you working toward fulfilling Our Lord’s precept of praying always, or do you slack off because of complacency and spiritual sloth? How’s your gratitude towards God? Do you thank Him always for everything He’s given you, especially your Faith? Are you thanking Him after Mass adequately or do you leave as soon as Mass is over?
2. How’s your detachment coming to things such as your spouse, your family, your possessions such as your house, your money, or your job? How much do you put other things before God? In other words, are you any better now than you were a year ago at being detached from the things that you want?
3. How often do you detract against people? Or have you gotten into the habit of praying for them when you see a defect of theirs? When we see someone’s defect, we should be in the habit of once we see that, and God has revealed it to us, to immediately turn and do some penance for them. Or do we continue to just detract rather than to deal with it?
4. Are you less judgemental about people’s interior states than you used to be? Do you seek to find ill-will on the part of others in order to make yourselves feel better?
5. How’s your life of mortification (prayer, fasting and abstinence) coming? Are you actively trying to root out imperfections, or are you satisfied with just staying out of mortal sin, or just staying in your plateau where you’re at? The spiritual life is arduous and requires a great deal of suffering in order to be purified. How well are you embracing it?
6. In the last year have you grown in humility? How’s that coming? What are you doing to actively root out pride? Does knowing more about your Faith make you prideful like the Gnostics, or does it make you humble realizing that you would be spiritually blind if it wasn’t for God’s grace?
7. Do you think you’re special because of a particular gift or position that God has given you, or are you fulling realizing, in humility, that everything has been gifted and, without God’s grace, you are nothing? How much are you growing in that graceful realization?
8. How much time are you putting into learning about God and the Faith? Listening to a homily on Sunday is not enough. You have to learn about your Faith, according to your state in life. So, in the last year, what have you learned about your Faith? Have you done any spiritual reading?
9. If you have problems with vulgarity or profanity, have you overcome that vice? What about anger? Have you worked on your patience?
10. How’s controlling your temper around those with whom you live coming? Are you getting better at it? Are you always being truthful? Or are you lying because you don’t want to deal with people or do you want to suffer because truth requires it?
11. How docile are you towards people who tell you the truth about yourself? Do you tend to react against anything people say about you? Do you react by trying to find fault with them rather than being humble and looking at yourself? Holiness would require asking, ‘is this true?’ If it is, work on it. If it isn’t, don’t overact; pray for your accuser.
12. How often do you do unnecessary work on Sundays or Holy Days of obligation? Have you arranged your life and gotten into the habit of taking the rest that the Lord commanded? Do you require others to work for you unnecessarily on such days?
13. How’s your marriage? Has it improved? Are you comfortable in your habits, or would you prefer to a better marriage where charity is prevalent?
14. Before going to confession, do you first personally apologize to people you have offended?
15. How hard are you working at your place of employment? Does your employer get out of you what he or she is paying you for?
16. For Children, are you more obedient and respectful to your parents and teachers this year than you were last year? Do you honor your parents?
17. For Parents, are you attentive to your child’s needs, both physical and spiritual, more than you own?
18. For adults and teenagers, in general, are you more chaste in thought, word, and deed? Are you more modest? Are you practicing custody of the eyes and mind, or do you let your thoughts go into impurity even if it appears romantic or okay?
19. Are wasteful of food because of carelessness? Are you temperate in our consumption?
20. Are you gossiping?
21. Do you reveal the secretes of others, or say things that proper discretion would say, ‘don’t say this or it’s not the proper time or the place?’ Haver you improved on being more discreet?
22. If you have destroyed people’s names or said something contrary to them, what have you done to restore their good name?
23. Are you following the precepts of the Church? Do you observe the Feasts, keep the fast, abstain from meat when you’re supposed to, attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days (so long as you don’t have a grave reason for missing), confess your sins (at least once a year), receive communion (during Easter), and provide monetary support of the Parish? Do you withhold from giving?
24. Do you understand Confession as a necessity that should be visited regularly (at least once a month for the laity)?
25. Do you commit the sin of Sacrilege by receiving Communion in a state of mortal sin?
26. Do you go to Mass during the weekdays when your work schedule allows?