Yearly Examination, according to Bonaventure: Part I (cont again)

Malice: diligently examine whether this has lodged in your life.

1. Of anger? Of even the slightest indignation or bitterness to my neighbor? In my heart, feelings, emotions? Do I act it out in signs, gestures, words, exclamations? Why is this? Can I resolve any of these problems? Through a conversation, penance, or prayer? Through something as simple as getting more sleep or eating right? Must some of these things simply be intrusted to God? (One thing that helps me is to write every single thing down that bothers me, instead of interiorly ranting over and over—write it all out, and put it all in God’s hands. Sometimes that physical action actually lets you see what you are dealing with—which can be very little—and render it to God.)

2. Of envy? Is your neighbor’s woe your joy, his joy your woe? Do find yourself irritable when people are having a good time? How could you better match your mood to others in order to serve them?

3. Of spiritual boredom? Are you lukewarm, half-awake, slow, lazy, slack, unfervent, "disgusted"? Discipline is needed. Can you find some way to break your will, or toughen yourself up, some good simple penance? We don’t want to be like that man Caryll Houselander describes who, as he aged, “Suffered more and more from less and less.”

Down with the snooze button! That is the penance for me.



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