Be of Good Heart

Be of Good Heart

As we've seen before, a daily examination isn't a self-centered endeavor. It's meant to be God-centered.

And our journey with this kind of prayer and through the spiritual life is quite simply making this transition: thinking less of ourselves and thinking more of God.

"He must increase; I must decrease." John 3:30

For us, there's a warning sign to be on the lookout for: discouragement. Discouragement is a form of anger with ourselves, and it points to our own pride and lack of humility. It's a very subtle clue that we think we are above certain things.

Discouragement in our failures and shortcomings is an indicator that we are relying too much on ourselves. We are trying to increase, instead of decrease.

It's important to note that feeling discouraged is different that feeling sorrowful or contrite.

Sorrow and contrition are responses to God, which spur us toward Him. Whereas discouragement keeps us in ourselves.

"Lord, I'm sorry for turning my back on you, help me," is a lot different than "I can't believe at failed again. I can't get this right."

It might very well be the beginning of humility to at least acknowledge that we are not strong enough. But, the fullness of humility is not only recognizing who we are, but who God is.

Go back to John 3:30, we need both the positive and the negative.

For our purposes with praying a daily examination, St. Francis De Sales offers us some very helpful advice related to Meekness with Ourselves.

When we fall, and when we feel tempted to discouragement, make this prayer:

"Alas, my poor heart, here we are, fallen into the pit we were so firmly resolved to avoid! Well, we must get up again and leave it forever. We must call on God's mercy and hope that it will help us to be steadier in the days to come. Let us start out again on the way of humility. Let us be of good heart and from this day be more on guard. God will help us; we will do better."

Be of good heart. God will help us. We will do better.

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