An exercise to help us grow in the area of ‘affirmation’ rather than ‘criticism’ to enrich our relationships rather than grid-lock them.
ReflectSeparately, say the prayer and spend some time reflecting on the questions.
Write some notes and then share your answers more fully with your spouse.
Father, You have chosen me to be a member of the community of the faithful.
I know that my response to Your choice is very important to You and Your plans.
Let that fact sink into my soul, right at this moment.
Help me to be truly awed that You would choose me.
How much You believe in me.
This I ask through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
- In what specific ways do you tend to “criticize” God? the Church? (e.g. avoiding prayer, praying for MY will rather than God’s will, ignoring Church teaching or values when making moral decisions, saying “they can’t know my needs and problems”, neglecting Church attendance and worship because “it’s boring and irrelevant to my life,” cutting down donations because of anger at Bishop or pastor, etc.)
How do these attitudes and behaviors affect or diminish your closeness/intimacy with God? with the Church?
How does your own self-image at any given time affect your tendency to be affirming to others? to be critical of others?
What specific steps can you take to improve your self-image, for the sake of your own sense of holiness, and for the sake of enriching your relationships with your spouse/children?
Reflect on this statement: There is no such thing as “constructive criticism” in the life of a Christian. Our charism as a people is built on love, affirmation, and forgiveness. It is an invitation to continued growth in accepting our responsibility to cooperate in the work of Redemption by making all our choices for love of God, love of others, and love of self.
How can you turn your criticism of others into “invitations to growth and responsibility”?