Have you done your taxes yet? I haven’t, and it is one of those things that I know doesn’t take that long, and I usually have enough withheld so I do get a bit back each year (so I have incentive to get it done), but I still haven’t found the time to get out all of the papers and load the software on my computer and actually do my taxes.
Since it is also the season of Lent I will ask a slightly different question, have you gone to Confession yet? I’m making the comparison because for many people it is something that they do periodically, maybe once, or twice, or four times a year. (Like paying your taxes quarterly I guess.) And also like your taxes you need to take the time first to review your life, seeing what needs to be reported or not. Fortunately we don’t have anything as complicated as the tax code that we have to consider. An examination of conscience, such as one based on the 10 commandments, can help to consider what are the sins I have done that I need to ask forgiveness for. Here is a short one that might help: (others at http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/sacraments-and-sacramentals/penance/upload/Examination-of-Conscience.pdf)
I am the Lord your God: you shall not have strange Gods before me. Have I treated people, events, or things as more important than God?
You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. Have my words, actively or passively, put down God, the Church, or people?
Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day. Do I go to Mass every Sunday (or Saturday Vigil) and on Holy Days of Obligation (Jan. 1; the Ascension; Aug. 15; Nov. 1; Dec. 8; Dec. 25)? Do I avoid, when possible, work that impedes worship to God, joy for the Lord’s Day, and proper relaxation of mind and body? Do I look for ways to spend time with family or in service on Sunday?
Honor your father and your mother. Do I show my parents due respect? Do I seek to maintain good communication with my parents where possible? Do I criticize them for lacking skills I think they should have?
You shall not kill. Have I harmed another through physical, verbal, or emotional means, including gossip or manipulation of any kind?
You shall not commit adultery. Have I respected the physical and sexual dignity of others and of myself?
You shall not steal. Have I taken or wasted time or resources that belonged to another?
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. Have I gos-siped, told lies, or embellished stories at the expense of another?
You shall not covet your neighbor’s spouse. Have I honored my spouse with my full affection and exclusive love?
You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods. Am I content with my own means and needs, or do I compare myself to others unnecessarily?
Just a little reminder and help to be open to all the graces God wishes to give us.