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Leisure: A Biblical Examination of Conscience

Jesus looked at him and loved him. (Mark 10:21)

Do I believe I am loved, really loved, by God? Do I look at others with the same gaze of love in which God looks at me? Do I make an effort to make eye contact with people who are trying to speak to me and be fully present to them?

But Mary treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart. (Luke 2:19)

Do I allow myself the freedom to be in wonder about the mystery of life? Do I feel the unnecessary burden to have “it all figured out” and be able to understand and explain everything in life? Both positive and negative?

Be still and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10)

Am I trying to solve all the problems of my life in one day? Do I talk too much and too fast? Do I make space for and enjoy silence?

Let your word be ‘Yes, Yes’ or ‘No, No’; anything more than this comes from the evil one. (Matthew 5:37)

Do I promise more than I can healthily deliver?

There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her. (Luke 10:42)

Am I preoccupied, distracted, and stressed? Do I work too much? Do I have the capacity to let go of my agenda?

Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. (Matthew 19:14)

Do I play?

So, Philip ran up and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ Philip asked. ‘How can I, he said, unless someone guides me?’ (Acts 8:31)

Do I have enough margin space in my day for “holy interruptions?”

One thing I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple. (Psalm 27:4)

Do I make time to savor and seek out encounters with beauty such as creation, elevated art and music?

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. (Colossians 3:23)

Do I have a habit of hastiness?

I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. (John 10:10)

Am I unhappy? Am I bored? Am I idle? Do I mind my own business? Am I sad instead of joyful about the business of God? Does Sunday Mass feel more obligatory than celebratory?

Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin. (Matthew 6:28)

Do I accept myself as I am with freedom, trust, and serenity? Do I have the humility and strength to let “it” go? Do I have the capacity to receive from the Lord?

I never knew you. (Matthew 7:23)

Are the Lord and I friends?

This Examination was originally published in The Catechetical Review. Click here for the original article. To download a printable PDF, click here.

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