Some of these seem all too familiar…
We’ve all heard the old saying that “People on their deathbeds don’t say, ‘I wish I’d spent more time at work…’”
More often, people’s regrets are truly about “what I have done, and what I have failed to do.”
A Spanish priest, Father Nelson, has listed the sort of regrets he has often heard while accompanying the dying.
These regrets seem all too familiar to us, and the list seems well-worth keeping before our eyes, for the good of our souls, and our hearts and minds, too!
We might even use this list as an examination of conscience, or to help us to pray for the grace to live in a way that might prevent our feeling these regrets later in our lives.
- For the times when I set a bad example, and there were people who followed my lead
- For my indifference in the face of someone’s suffering
- For failing to say so many words of praise, recognition and encouragement to those who deserved them or needed them
- For claiming credit for my triumphs but blaming my failures on circumstances
- For having failed to respect someone’s innocence or having blocked someone’s dreams
- That I wasted money on things that I didn’t need and never used
- For the times I took too much time and not enough effort to forgive
- For taking advantage of someone who loved me, in order to get something for myself
- For not being careful to guide those I should have educated better before it was too late
- For not visiting or sharing time with people because I thought they weren’t interesting, educated or useful
- For fleeing the cross so many times
- For savouring adulation even while knowing it was false
- For complaining much more often than I gave thanks
- For the stubborn, vulgar or rude words that came out of my mouth
- For participating in conversations making fun of God, the faith or the Church
- For wasting so much time on empty things… time that can’t be gotten back
- For the promises, I didn’t keep
- For the times that I could have and should have prayed more, and above all, with more love
- For ignoring Jesus. The solitude of Christ in the tabernacle hurts me
- That I hurt or harmed someone in any way
- For lacking love. I should have loved God and my neighbour much more.