Examination Of Conscience


This examination, based on the Ten Commandments of God, is intended as a general help in preparing your confession and is not meant as an exhaustive list of every sin that could possibly be committed. In making our examination of conscience we should have great trust in the mercy of God and ask Him, as well as Our Lady and our guardian angel, to help us remember and regret our sins.

In general. When was my last confession? Did I forget or deliberately conceal any mortal sins? Did I have true sorrow for my sins and make a sincere effort to amend my life? Have I received communion or another sacrament in a state of sin? Have I avoided all near occasions of sin, especially for those I commit most frequently? Have I been affiliated with any forbidden secret societies? Have I participated in or encouraged the grave sins of others?

1st Commandment. Have I rejected or deliberately doubted any teachings of the Church? Have I publically denied my faith or spoken disrespectfully or it or its ministers? Have I endangered my faith through conversations or readings critical of Christian faith and morality? Have I participated in any superstitious practices? Have I treated holy places, persons or things disrespectfully (sacrilege)? Have I participated actively in non-Catholic religious services? Have I had wilful distractions in my prayers or recited them irreverently? Have I murmured against God’s providence?

2nd Commandment. Have I failed to keep vows or promises made to God? Have I invoked God’s name in telling a lie (perjury)? Have I used the Holy Name or the name of a saint disrespectfully? Have I committed blasphemy in thought, word or deed? Encouraged or approved of others doing so? Have I asked or desired God to curse someone?

3rd Commandment. Have I omitted to attend Mass on a Sunday or holy day of obligation without a serious reason? Have those under my care failed to attend Mass through my negligence? Have I, through my own fault, missed a considerable part of Mass or behaved inappropriately in church? Have I performed unnecessary servile work on Sundays or holy days? Have I observed the days of fast and abstinence set down by Church law?

4th Commandment. Have I been disobedient, ungrateful or stubborn towards my parents, teachers or legitimate superiors? Have I struck or insulted them? Have I spoken unkindly of them? Have I failed to give material support to my parents when they were in need, illness or old age? Have I failed to pray for my parents, living or dead? Have I neglected to call the priest to bring the sacraments to my elderly or infirm parents? Have I violated any just laws? For parents and those in authority: Have I given bad example to my children or those under my charge? Have I seen to their religious and moral formation? Have I interfered in their following a vocation?

5th Commandment. Have I committed murder or physical violence against others? Have I attempted suicide? Have I in any way advised or participated in an abortion or euthanasia? Have I entertained thoughts of anger, hatred or revenge? Provoked others to anger? Have I given scandal by my bad example? Have I endangered my health by excessive eating or drinking (gluttony)? Have I abused drugs or alcohol (drunkenness)? Have I failed to relieve the material necessities of others when I was in a position to do so?

6th and 9th Commandments. Have I lived in peace and union with my spouse? Have I committed impure deeds? Alone or with another person? With a married person? With a person of the same sex? Have I desired to commit any such deeds? Have I looked at impure images? Have I taken wilful pleasure in impure thoughts? Have I been sterilised or used artificial contraception? Have I used illicit reproductive techniques, such as IVF? Have I attempted to ‘marry’ outside the Church or to ‘remarry’ after a divorce? Have I scandalised others through immodest conversation, behaviour or manner of dress? Have I educated my children in matters of purity and kept watch over their virtue?

7th and 10th Commandments. Have I stolen anything – money or goods? Of great or of little value? From a poor person? From church? Have I restored or replaced what I stole when able to do so? Have I knowingly purchased or concealed stolen goods? Have I wasted time at work? Cheated? Used dishonest business practices? Defrauded my employer or paid unjust wages to my employees? Have I damaged another person’s property? Have I failed to return borrowed goods or to repay my debts? Have I wronged my family by excessive or wasteful spending or gambling? Have I envied the spiritual or material goods enjoyed by others? Have I placed my happiness in earthly goods?

8th Commandment. Have I given false testimony in a court of law or under oath? Have I told lies? In a serious or in a slight matter? Have I told lies to hurt another person’s reputation (calumny)? Have I revealed the true but hidden faults of others without necessity (detraction)? Have I mocked others, especially those in a position of authority? Have I participated in or listened to gossip? Have I caused dissension in families or among friends by such behaviour (tale-bearing)? Have I revealed the secrets entrusted to me without a sufficient reason? Have I rashly judged others or put an uncharitable interpretation on their behaviour or motives? Have I committed the sins of flattery or hypocrisy?

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