The Galatians 5 Spiritual Health Exam

Ask a Carmelite Sister…

Dear Sister,

At least once a year I see a doctor and check out my physical health. Is there any kind of a spiritual health exam that would help me check out my spiritual health?

Dear Friend,

Thank you very much for you most timely question.  The answer, of course, is an old-fashioned phrase. Perhaps you have heard of it – the examination of conscience. There are many ways to examine your conscience and, I might add, form a right conscience.

The following is a handy check list to check out your spiritual health. It is very simple and so powerful!

The Galatians 5 Spiritual Health Exam:

List A

List B

Immoral Loving
Impure Joyful
Sensual Peaceful
Idolatry Patient
Sorcerer Kind
Hateful, Hostile Good, Decent, Integrity
Fighting Faithful
Jealous Gentle
Outbursts of Anger Self-control
Argumentative
Rebellious
Divisive, Critical
Envious
Drunk
Carousing (excessive partying)

Which list describes your life?  The lists above are not exhaustive. Every fault or sin has a virtue which can combat it. The idea is to practice the virtue, little by little, day by day until you have formed a habit. List A are bad habits which are vices. List B are good habits which are virtues. Notice yourself at home, at work, at play and just notice which list is predominant in your life. “Life by the yard can be hard, but inch by inch it is a cinch.”

Galatians 5 states:

“For you were called to freedom, brethren. Do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.

“Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

“If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.”

* * * * *

I should point out that the Galatians 5 Spiritual Health Exam also works very effectively with teens.

Thank you for your question and until next time,

Sister Laus Gloriae, O.C.D.


Send your questions for Sister to asksister@integratedcatholiclife.org.Please help us in our mission to assist readers to integrate their Catholic faith, family and work. Tell your family and friends about this article using both the Recommend and Share buttons below and via email. We value your comments and encourage you to leave your thoughts below. Thank you! – The Editors

To learn more about the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles, read their biography in the left-hand sidebar and visit their website (link provided at the bottom of the bio).

They publish a beautiful print magazine, Spirit of Carmel, and we encourage you to support the work of the sisters with your prayers and through donations and subscriptions to the Spirit of Carmel.

If you are able to help them, please click on the image of their magazine to visit their subscription and donation page.

If you hear God calling you to the religious life, I encourage you to visit their vocations page. – Deacon Mike

Or for more information, please contact:
Sister Grace Helena, OCD, Vocation Directress
920 East Alhambra Road
Alhambra, California 91801

Print this entry

About the Author

Promoting a Deeper Spiritual Life Among Families through Healthcare, Education and Retreats

The Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles strive to give striking witness as a vibrant, thriving community of dedicated women with an all-consuming mission. It is our God-given mission, a mission of the heart, a mission of loving service to the poor, the sick, the needy and the uneducated. Our loving service overflows from each sister’s profound life of prayer. We strive to reflect His life and hope and His promise to all that light has come into our world and darkness has not overcome it.

A look at the history of our community, with its motherhouse in Alhambra, California, reveals how its life-giving presence has come about. During the beginning decades of the 1900s just as the epic Mexican revolution was subsiding, a ruthless religious persecution was gaining momentum in Mexico. This horrible persecution accompanied the birth and humble beginnings of our community, a legacy that Mother Luisita, our foundress, and her two companions brought with them as religious refugees entering the Unites States in 1927.

Those seeds planted by Mother Luisita, now a candidate for sainthood, have taken deep root in the United States since those early days. People and places have changed throughout the years, yet the heart of our mission remains. As an autonomous religious institute since 1983 we continue to carry out our loving service in our healthcare facilities, retreat houses and schools which remain to this day centers of life and hope. Today we are moving forward together “Educating for Life with the Mind and Heart of Christ” in schools, being “At the Service of the Family for Life” through health and eldercare and “Fostering a Deeper Spiritual Life” through individual and group retreats. At the heart of our vocation is a passionate mission of loving service which facilitates our life-giving encounter with the living God.

The heritage of the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles is rooted in the spirituality of Carmel, the Gospels, the Church, with our particular charism derived from our beloved Foundress, Mother Maria Luisa Josefa of the Most Blessed Sacrament.

In His merciful goodness, God has graced our Institute with the Carmelite charism which has its roots in a long history and living tradition. The spirituality of St. Teresa and St. John of the Cross is rooted in this tradition. Carmel means enclosed garden in which God Himself dwells. The divine indwelling in the soul is the foundation of Teresa's doctrine. Thus our vocation is a grace by which contemplation and action are blended to become an apostolic service to the Church.

Our ideal finds a living expression in the life and charism of our beloved Foundress, Mother Maria Luisa Josefa of the Most Blessed Sacrament, whose spirit we faithfully preserve and foster.

Our life is characterized by: - A life of prayer and union with God - A deep love for Jesus in the Holy Eucharist - Devotion to our Blessed Mother - Steadfast fidelity to the Magisterium of the Church - Praying for priests - Commitment to works of the apostolate in ecclesial service

Author Archive Page

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *