Jul 30, 2013


Every company I have ever worked for always had a scheduled inventory during the physical year. Some had it annually, some quarterly or monthly and most recently due to advanced data systems and methods even daily. Businesses can easily get out of control and do the wrong things and not fill their customer demands resulting in setbacks and possible failure.
This idea of inventory is one that can also be applied to a spiritual life. As Secular Franciscans it is a good idea to periodically examine ourselves on how we are living the gospel life.  An annual inventory is too long and not a good idea for anyone, but especially for those as professed Franciscans.  Neither is quarterly nor even monthly a good idea. We need to do this more often, even daily. This world environment we live in has a way of influencing us at times in spite of ourselves. If we don’t take an inventory of ourselves often we could find ourselves drifting away from God through rationalization of what we are doing, or not doing.  This inventory is also helpful in preparing for frequent confession of venial sins and personal faults in order to strengthen our souls and avoid mortal sins.
Doing an inventory such as this requires some simple method of measuring ourselves against the Gospel Life that we profess. There are many ways to do this as there are Secular Franciscans, but for me I categorize it into “Know, Love and Serve God”.

Know: Is my prayer life growing better or growing stale? Am I reading or studying things that will increase a spiritual life or too often are they worldly things? Do I continue to meditate on the scriptures, or have I become somewhat lax?

Love: Am I working on being “poor in spirit”, or am I beginning to seek after material things? In my actions do I love God with my whole heart, soul and mind or am I becoming more self- absorbed? Do I see Jesus in those I meet each day and treat them with kindness as I would Him, or am I forgetting that He told us that whatever we do to others we do unto Him? Do I offer disappointments and setbacks to God and suffer large and even small things for His sake, or do I become bitter or angry?

Serve: Do I live in such a way that others know that I know, love and serve Him, or am I hiding my faith in public? Am I faithful in performance of those apostolate ministries I agreed to take on, or have I become lax or ignored them? Do I take measures as they arise to evangelize, or do I become shy and avoid these opportunities?
These are some of the inventory questions that are possible. There are many ways to do inventory, what works for you? POC Bob, OFS