Oh, Dearest Mother, Sweetest Virgin of Altagracia, our Patroness. You are our Advocate and to you we recommend our needs. You are our Teacher and like disciples we come to learn from the example of your holy life. You are our Mother, and like children, we come to offer you all of the love of our hearts. Receive, dearest Mother, our offerings and listen attentively to our supplications. Amen.



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DeAnn M
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Posted: March 30 2009 at 12:24pm | IP Logged Quote DeAnn M

Hi Ladies,

I googled the subject of this post and did not come up with much. Does anyone have one? I know there are hundred's of general ones, but I'm interested in one that is specifically tailored toward mothers.

I may try to formulate my own, so if you don't know of an existing one, do you have any suggestions for questions?

Maybe some topics could include, modeling proper attitudes for children, Feeding myself and children, time management, vanity, stewardship of home and finances... etc.

Thanks in advance!

Peace,
DeAnn
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Lauri B
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Posted: March 30 2009 at 1:11pm | IP Logged Quote Lauri B

Here are two that might get you started:

All 4 1 and 1 4 All

My Domestic Church

The book referenced in the second one sounds interesting![
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Elizabeth
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Posted: March 30 2009 at 3:25pm | IP Logged Quote Elizabeth

In this thread,Jen has a list that makes a nice particular examen--
be sure to scroll to see both Jen's lists on the first page...

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DeAnn M
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Posted: March 30 2009 at 10:01pm | IP Logged Quote DeAnn M

Wow, what a beautiful thread. I'm going to print out the entire thing, read it and use it to formulate my own Examination. Then, I'm going to ask Jen to be my Spiritual Director.   

Please let me know if there has been anything in particular that has helped you guys in examining your day and your heart.   I really need to make some changes in my attitude and actions and I feel like this will be helpful. I suppose I still feel a little odd writing my own morning offering and examination. If there is one thing I have discovered as a convert it's that there is always someone who "says it" better than I ever could...even if they did live five hundred years ago!

Blessings,
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SuzanneG
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Posted: March 31 2009 at 12:57am | IP Logged Quote SuzanneG

DeAnn~
At the beginning of Lent, I did some cutting and pasting and typing from the various sources, including the thread that had Mackfam's questions that Elizabeth linked to. Then I took questions having to do with my particular temperament, and a partiular virtue / vice trying to overcome or develop and then made questions based on my role as a wife and mother.    Mainly trying to have something simple for a nightly examen, but it turned into a monster! And, now I don't know WHAT to do with this.

I haven't figured out a "system" to utilize this....of course, it's too overwhelming in its entirety, but the excercise itself helped.   And just having it printed out, placed in my basket, enables me to pull it out and focus on a small little part of it.....

***********************************

~ Was I obedient to my prayer life today?
~ Did I offer God my joys, my difficulties, my joys and my sorrows?
~ Was I overly worried or anxious when I need to surrender and trust His perfect plan?
~ Was I impatient with God's timing, my children's abilities, my husband's limitations?
~ Was I focused on something shallow/trivial/tangential?
~ Was I prayerful and pondered in the quiet and protection of Our Lady's heart...or do I react loudly?

~ Was I patient with accepting the sorrows and disappointments of the day?
~ Am I looking around at others and comparing myself to them?
~ Was I too active and noisy today?
~ Did I manage my time well?
~ Was I grateful for my time?
~ Have I punctuated the day with periods of silence?
~ Did I send up a prayer in moments of frustration or temptation?
~ Did I strive to make our home like the Holy Family's?
~ Did I eat too much? Snack too much? Think about food too much?
~ Have I sworn or used bad language?

ROLE AS WIFE
Was I respectful and supportive of dh?
Did I show affection? Did I laugh with him?
Did I pray for him?

ROLE AS PARENT:
Was I impatient? Dismissive? Did I stop to really listen?
Did I reinforce husband's leadership in our family?
Did I encourage my children to pray?
Was I patient with them? Was I gentle? Was I joyful and cheerful?
Did I play with them? Did I listen to them? Did I pray for them?
Did I show compassion? Empathy? Tenderness?
Did I create a “Boot Camp” atmosphere?

Particular Child
DD#1 ~ Did I let or encourage her to talk? Was I grateful for her openess to share with me? Did I allow for her need to have fun? Did I “just hang out” with her?
DD#2 ~ Did I make suggestions? Did I praise her? Encourage her? Did I learn something about her thoughts? Did I lead with praise and support?   

Humility / Pride
Am I trying to be powerful and capable without God?
Did I bring God into my eager plans?
Did I problem-solve without praying first?
Did I ask God for help?
Was I grateful to Him throughout the day?
Did I regard a situation only as to how it affects me?
Was I generous only because it benefitted me or made me look good?
Was I vain or boastful?
Did I feel a need to be in control of a situation instead of letting God's will take place?
Did I scoff at others? Was I sarcastic? Was I Judgmental?
Did I interrupt conversations?
Did I have to have the last word?

Page 331
Did I talk about myself only when really necessary?
Was I grateful for the little things people did for me?
Did I stop myself when thoughts began to revolve around myself?
Did I allow myself to be helped?

***********************
Choleric
Was I uncharitable in my thoughts or actions toward my children, husband, neighbor?
Did I judge the actions or words of anyone unjustly, without charity?
Was I too aggressive in doing my will?
Was I haughty, unkind, and angry toward anyone?
Do I tend to find fault with everyone and everything?
Was I cruel to anyone in actions or in words?
Was I stubborn?
Was I disobedient?
Did I react hastily without thought and prayer?
Did I brag or act self-centered?
Did I do any acts of kindness, thoughtfulness for another? If not, what can I do tomorrow for someone?
Did I show compassion to someone who was hurt or feeling sad?
Am I trying to do the will of God in all my actions?
Did I hurt anyone to get something that I wanted?
Was I kind and helpful to people I dislike, who have hurt me?
Did I act proud by boasting, bragging, being arrogant or crude?
Was I willing to accept advice without becoming angry?
When corrected, did I take it humbly?
When I did not get my way did I control my temper?
Do I exaggerate?
Am I careful to watch what I say so as not to spread gossip or hurt another's feelings?
Did I forgive everyone who hurt me today?
Was I vain?
Was I impatient today?
Did I accept contradictions/sufferings/cheerfully and offer them to God?
Did I pray during the day to God?

**Basic Virtues Needed: Prudence, Justice, Temperance, Obedience, Charity, Patience
**Additional Virtues Needed: Meekness, Compassion, Moderation, Sociability, Self-Mastery, Modesty, Kindness, Humility, Flexibility, Understanding, Respect for others.

Page 48-49 Raise Happy Children, Teach Them Virtues, Budnik
And, from The Temperment God Gave You

***********************
LENTEN EXAMEN
from Jen ~ from the thread linked above:
Quote:
In closely following the rhythm of Holy Mother Church we are drawn into her mysteries and with quiet there is time for contemplation and meditation - even by the littlest. I have seen it. So, I see my role during Lent as one who guards quiet and carves out spaces so that there is opportunity for pondering. In order to set this tone, I must first be disposed to quiet myself.

Just thinking out loud...

**Identify areas I am leaking grace...
~ Am I attentive faithfully to the one thing needful? If my prayer life unravels everything else does too...in a hurry! Eyes on Him!
~ Am I overly worried or anxious when I need to surrender and Trust His perfect plan?
~ Am I impatient with God's timing, my children's abilities, my husband's limitations? Back to Trust.
~ Am I focused on something shallow/trivial/tangential?
~ Do I prayerfully consider and ponder in the quiet and protection of Our Lady's heart...or do I react loudly?
~ Have I identified a vice that is stubborn and embedded? Confession!
~ Am I looking around at others...focus on my own weaknesses and on other's strengths and keep interior focus on Our Lord.
**Identify sources of noise...
~ Too much activity?
~ Too little routine and rhythm in the day?
~ Are my expectations way too high?
~ Have I punctuated the day with periods of silence - visually and otherwise?
~ Is there beauty in my home - our surroundings?
**Carve out spaces and consider the natural...
~ Consider the home as sacred space - where may I set out holy reminders to assist our season of prayer and penitence?
~ Consider the placement of holy reminders - do they invite one to consider them? or get lost in a sea of other visual noise?
~ What steps can I take in my home to take us more deeply into the desert for 40 days?
**The rhythm of Lent...
~ What is the family plan? family focus? for prayer, fasting and almsgiving?
~ Consider the family meals...how can I provide nutrition and filling meals while trimming them of excess and decadence?
~ Will we add any new prayers to the family evening prayers for Lent?
~ Help children consider their sacrifices...introduce the idea of offering obedience as a gift.
~ Provide a calendar or an image of some kind so the children can visualize how long the journey into the desert with Our Lord will be.

In my heart, this is how I am preparing to enter this holy season with my family, this is what I'm turning over in prayer.


Where is my heart?

**Am I aware of the supernatural veiled in the ordinary parts of my day?
**Do I try to see with the eyes of faith the supernatural goodness, beauty, and lessons God has waiting for me in cleaning the toilet? in feeding the family? in instructing the children? in offering myself in gentle manner to my family?
**Do I seek His will in all things?
**Do I throw a spiritual fit when God asks me to let go of an unhealthy attachment - whether to a person or a material possession?
**Do I make sincere and realistic efforts to bring the Little Children to Him?
**Am I trying to unite our domestic church to the Universal Church through prayer and other seasonal celebrations?

My heart in my vocation
**Is my interior spirit one of softness, yielding and approachability with my husband, or do his concerns and suggestions to me get brushed aside as I hurry through my day?
**Do I take time or carve out special time to be with my husband on a regular basis?
**Do I seek his counsel on matters of myself and our family before I take my concerns to other friends?
**Do I pray for my husband on a regular basis?
**Do my husband and I pray to know God's will in all the areas that affect our family?
**There is a temptation to dump all our worries and complaints on our best friend - our husband. Do I do this, or do I try to shoulder my share of the load with as little complaint as possible?
**Do I question and nag my husband in order to get my way, or do I wait until a quiet time to make a request known?
**Am I clinging so tightly to the idea of my children that I am fearful?
**Is my attitude toward my children one of possession or beautiful gift to be cherished?
**Do I forget to enjoy the gift of time with my children when I am too busy or wrapped up in the daily duty?
**Do I pray daily for my children?
**Do I respect the individual needs of each child as a child of God?
**Am I suffocating a child's spirit out of protection?

My heart in outside apostolates, friends, clubs, organizations
**Am I maintaining the daily duties in my home before I give my time and myself to these worthy apostolates?
**Do I involve myself, but only to the degree that I can still maintain my domestic church?

My heart in my home
**Is my home ordered in a way that is pleasing to my husband and children?
**Is my home ordered in a way that it assists in the running of the home?
**Am I clinging to too much stuff in our home?
**Is the stuff being used by our family, or is it useful in our domestic church? Think of the manna God sent from heaven. The Israelites were allowed to keep only what they could use for the day - their daily bread. Am I using what God has sent for the day or season of life and then passing along the extra to other families? Am I a good steward of the material gifts God enables our family to have?
**Do the material things in my home give glory to God in their simplicity and beauty? Do they reveal the splendor in the ordinary?

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

This was so helpful for me to think out loud like this, and I can see several areas here that I really need to work on during Lent to order my affections and provide the interior quiet so that I can contemplate and lift my heart to Him at any time!! This whole thread has been so helpful for me!


Nightly Examen - Conscience
1.The first Point is to give thanks to God our Lord for the benefits received. 

2.The second, to ask grace to know our sins and cast them out. 

3.The third, to ask account of our soul from the hour that we rose up to the present Examen, hour by hour, or period by period: and first as to thoughts, and then as to words, and then as to acts.

4.The fourth, to ask pardon of God our Lord for the faults.

5.The fifth, to purpose amendment with His grace. 



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SuzanneG
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Posted: March 31 2009 at 1:16am | IP Logged Quote SuzanneG

Linky-Fairy fixed the above links....Laurie, let me know if that was NOT the post you were trying to get to on My Domestic Church.

And, I found another one on My Domestic Church this applicable post:, which I took out the actual questions for posting here, but there is more written about each question at the blog post.

PARENT'S EXAMEN
Quote:
This wonderful pastoral letter from the diocese of Newark gave me a lot of food for thought as we enter into Holy Week. Regardless of how the previous weeks of Lent has gone, this is the final act, the grand finale, the climax that can make those nerve endings in those little minds connect with awe and wonder of Jesus Christ.

I think the entire article can work as an examination of conscience for parents as we look over how we are forming the faith of our children while we prepare for Easter.

Pastoral Letters Annotated

Ages 2-7
**Do you take the time to teach your children to pray?
**Do you make time for prayer with your family?
**Do you take time out for heart-to-heart talks with your children?
**Do you take advantage of teachable moments to instruct your children in the faith?
**Do you take advantage of unexpected opportunities to instruct your children?
**Do you make judicious use of the TV?
**Do you read Bible stories to your youngest children and provide similar reading materials to your older children?
**Do you, by word and example, attempt to instill in your children a spirit of generosity?
**Do you take notice of the good that your children do? Catch your children being good.
**Do you make regular use of sacramentals?

Ages 8-12
**Do you set aside at least one day a week for the family?
**Do you give thought to establishing or carrying on family traditions?
**Do you take the time to consider your children's spiritual and moral progress?
**Do you make regular use of the sacraments?
**Do you take time to nurture the possibility of religious vocations?
**Do you allow your children to make age-appropriate decisions and to live with the consequences?
**Do you provide good examples to counter materialism?
**Do you consciously attempt to instill a spirit of self sacrifice in your teens
**Do you provide your teens with good examples?
**Do you often reflect on the spiritual character of your teens?
**Do you stress the role of a properly formed conscience in decision making?
**Do you provide your teens with clear guidelines regarding sexual ethics - telling them what is moral and immoral?


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Elizabeth
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Posted: March 31 2009 at 6:37am | IP Logged Quote Elizabeth

DeAnn M wrote:
Wow, what a beautiful thread. I'm going to print out the entire thing, read it and use it to formulate my own Examination. Then, I'm going to ask Jen to be my Spiritual Director.   


You might have to take a number. There's a line

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RenB
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Posted: March 31 2009 at 9:44am | IP Logged Quote RenB

Hee hee, take a number? Well, isn't that what we say to our grown adult children when they call and need us RIGHT NOW and the little ones are all about also requiring immediate attention, consequently create a moment of complete chaos? Kidding....

Ladies, this is such a beautiful thread, just had to chime in and let you all know you are also beautiful ladies who bless so many others with your sincere desires to be holy women. :-)

God bless you all!

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Posted: March 31 2009 at 12:20pm | IP Logged Quote Mackfam

Elizabeth wrote:
DeAnn M wrote:
Wow, what a beautiful thread. I'm going to print out the entire thing, read it and use it to formulate my own Examination. Then, I'm going to ask Jen to be my Spiritual Director.   


You might have to take a number. There's a line


You guys are so sweet!

All thanks be to God if those "thinking out loud" examens are helpful to any of you!

And, Suzanne...yours look amazing! I like that you really focused and thought of specific areas within your spiritual life to self-examine.

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Posted: March 31 2009 at 2:25pm | IP Logged Quote SuzanneG

DeAnn M wrote:
do you have any suggestions for questions?

Maybe some topics could include stewardship of home and finances


Mother's Examen about Money & Finances

**Do I pray for guidance in all things financial?
**Am I too generous in providing things for my children, when we don't have the means?
**Am I too stingy in providing for my family, when we do have the means?
**Do our spending habits reflect our values?
**Do I prayerfully consider major purchases? Home Improvements? Big Money Decisions?
**Are we living above our means?
**Have I avoided paying any just debts?
**Am I unneccesarily spending money when we don't have it?
**Are we living too frugally when we don't need to, thus being stingy, and spending time thinking about saving money when our efforts could be placed on God, our spouse, our family?
**Do my spouse and I have a good system in place for management of finances, so we don't become a slave to them?
**Is there a good balance between being financially-responsible and accepting God's will?
**Do I prayerfully consider our tithing?
**Am I cheerful about our charitable giving?
**Do the children see our "tithing" in some way, so they are "living it" with us?
**Do my children observe and experience good examples of money management?
**Do I actively teach my children about money management?
**Do we teach them about money and its proper place, if they are old enough?
**Am I attached to my own idea of how things "should" be?
**Have I tried to "barter" or "bargain" someone below a fair wage or price, taking advantage of their situation or need?
**Am I a slave to credit cards and time payments?
**Do I worry excessively about money, financial security, and the future?
**Do I avoid thinking and dealing with financial matters, thus being irresponsible?
**Am I spending money on things because I am excessively attached to them?   (tv, sports, entertainment, food, peace-quiet, neatness, order, laxity, appearance, status, fashion, pleasure, success?)
**Do I spend too much time thinking about things and money rather than just "being" with my family?
**Is my primary attitude toward basic provision in life one of scarcity, adequacy, or abundance? And, is this manifesting itself in our family in a healthy way?
**Do I disclose too much information about our finances to others?
**Do I talk about our financial struggle too much, which makes my husband look like he can't provide?   
**Do I boast about our finances in any way?
**Am I humble enough to ask for financial help from others, if needed?
**Do I take good care of the things God has blessed us with?
**Do I thank my husband for working hard and earning money for our family?
**Do my children acknowledge gifts received with written thank you notes?



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