A BRIEF EXAMINATION OF CONSCIENCE
(Parents consider if this is inappropriate for your children)
To help you prepare to make a good confession this Lent I’ve prepared a brief examination of conscience for you to use. Based on the 10 Commandments, it is not all inclusive, but I hope it will be helpful.
Remember, as you go through your examination consider if any of your sins are mortal. A mortal sin involves 1) grave matter, 2) full knowledge of the sinful character of the act, and 3) complete consent. Also, remember to confess how many times you committed particular mortal sins.
1. I am the Lord your God. You shall not have strange gods before me.
-Have I made any things more important than God in my life: money, security, power, people, myself, etc.?
-Do I seek to love Him with my whole heart?
-Have I been angry with God?
-Did I despair of or presume on God’s mercy?
-Do I give God time every day in prayer?
-Have I received communion in the state of mortal sin?
-Have I ever deliberately told a lie or withheld a mortal sin from the priest in Confession?
-Did I deny my Catholic Faith or fail to defend it?
-Am I willfully ignorant of basic doctrines of the faith?
-Have I been involved with superstitious or occult practices?
-Have I been prideful?
-Have I eaten or drunk in excess, the sin of gluttony?
-Have I been a good, reasonable steward of creation?
2. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
-Have I violated an oath or promise sworn before God?
-Have I used God´s name lightly or carelessly?
-Have I cursed someone using God’s name?
-Have I wished evil upon any other person?
-Have I insulted a sacred person or abused a sacred object?
-Have I used foul language, especially in front of the innocent?
3. Remember to keep holy the Lord´s Day.
-Have I willingly missed Mass on Sundays or Holy Days of Obligation, or cause my family to?
-Have I been inattentive at Mass, or do I regularly arrive late or leave early?
-Have I observed Sunday as a day of prayer and rest, or have I needlessly worked on Sunday?
-Did I keep the Church’s laws of fast, abstinence and penance?
4. Honor your father and your mother.
-Do I honor and obey my parents?
-Do I care for my aged/infirm relatives, especially parents?
-Have I neglected my duties to my spouse and children?
-Have I given my family good religious example?
-Have I tended to the religious education and moral and spiritual formation of my children?
-Do I try to bring peace into my home life?
-Did I give bad example to others, especially the young?
-Do I obey and respect legitimate authorities, like priests, teachers, police?
-Do I obey civil laws?
-Did I contribute to the support of the Church and my parish?
5. You shall not kill.
-Have I intentionally physically harmed anyone?
-Have I had an abortion or encouraged anyone to do so?
-Have I engaged, in any way, in sins against human life such as artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization?
-Have I participated in or approved of euthanasia?
-Do I hate anyone?
-Have I been angry, quarrelsome or resentful?
-Have I insulted anyone, or called them harsh or profane names?
-Have I held grudges, or failed to forgive anyone?
-Have I wished for or sought revenge?
-Have I taken pleasure in other’s misfortunes?
-Have I intentionally “bullied” anyone?
-Have I threatened anyone unjustly or unnecessarily?
-Do I unjustly discriminate against others?
-Have I judged others rashly or unjustly, judged their hearts, or judged them as beyond repentance or God’s mercy?
-Have I abused alcohol or drugs?
-Did I fail to take reasonable care of my health?
-Have I mutilated my body in any unnecessary way?
-Did I give a bad example, cause moral confusion to others, or otherwise lead anyone into sin?
6 & 9. You shall not commit adultery. 9. You shall not covet your neighbor´s wife.
-Have I engaged in any sexual activity outside of marriage?
-Have I used any method of contraception or artificial birth control?
-Have I obeyed Christ’s teaching on the permanence of marriage, and the Church’s laws of marriage?
-Have I been faithful to my marriage vows in thought and action?
-Has marital intimacy always been respectful of my spouse, consistence with nature, and open to life?
-Have I been guilty of masturbation?
-Have a viewed pornography, or other impure images?
-Have I thought of other people as mere objects?
-Have I been guilty of any homosexual activity?
-Do I seek to be chaste in my thoughts, words, actions?
-Am I careful to dress modestly, so as not to provoke sin in others?
-Have I behaved in an inappropriate way with members of the opposite sex?
7. & 10. You shall not steal. 10. You shall not covet your neighbor´s goods.
-Have I stolen anything?
-Have I returned or made restitution for what I have stolen?
-Have I intentionally damaged anyone’s property?
-Do I waste time at work, school, and home?
-Did I pay fair wages to my employees?
-Do I gamble excessively?
-Do I pay my bills and debts promptly?
-Have I cheated anyone out of what is justly theirs, for example creditors, insurance companies, etc.?
-Have I unreasonably refused to help someone in need?
-Do I provide for the needs of the poor?
-Do I flaunt my wealth or good fortune?
-Do I live beyond my means?
-Am I jealous of what other people have?
-Do I envy the families or possessions of others?
-Am I greedy or selfish?
8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
-Have I lied?
-Have I gossiped?
-Do I speak badly of others behind their back?
-Am I sincere in my dealings with others?
-Am I critical, negative or uncharitable in my thoughts of others?
-Do I keep secret what should be kept confidential?
-Have I injured the reputation of others?
-Have I cheated in school or work?
-Do I blame others for my mistakes?
-Do I brag or exaggerate my accomplishments?
Oremus pro invicem. Fr. De Celles