This week as part of our at-home catechism, my six year old is learning the Act of Contrition. For my readers who are not Catholic, this is a prayer of reconciliation where you ask the Lord for pardon of your sins.
Here is the prayer she is learning:
- "O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended You,
- and I detest all my sins, because of your just punishments,
- but most of all because they offend You, my God,
- Who are all-good and deserving of all my love.
- I firmly resolve, with the help of Your Grace,
- to sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin."
Last night, she asked me,"Mommy, what is avoid the near occasion of sin?"
I told her is was to keep away from things or people that can lead you away from listening to God. My examples to her were not watching movies that had bad words, or stop playing with someone who was a bully. That seemed to satisfy her, but it got me thinking about my own struggle with sin...
For me, it also means being aware of myself, my strengths, and weaknesses. Recently, I spoke to our pastor about my struggle with impatience especially when it comes to my own family. Father offered some practical advice. He suggested,
"Don't compare yourself to others, it is not helpful. God made you who you are. Make sure you are getting enough rest, and taking time for yourself."
Like my four year old having a meltdown, because she missed her afternoon nap, I need to realize there are some practical everyday things I can do to improve my attitude.
Here are some of the questions I need to ask myself:
Am I getting enough sleep?
Am I exercising and eating healthy?
Am I taking time to pray by myself ?
Am I taking time to write?
Am I taking time for my husband?
Am I taking time to read with my children?
All of these activities make me happy, and help me avoid the near occasion of sin.
How about you?