Examination of Conscience

How to Go to Confession…

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First, take a little time to pray quietly and read through the examination of conscience below. Take as much time as necessary.

Individual Examination of Conscience

Individual Examination of Conscience – 10 Commandments
 (Or, for examination using the 7 Deadly Sins scroll down below)

First Commandment: “I am the Lord your God, you shall not have strange gods before Me.”Have I denied God? Have I been ashamed of or denied my faith in front of others? Have I ridiculed the teachings or practices of the Church? Have I neglected my prayers? Have I used witchcraft, Wicca, or other Occult practices? Have I practiced various forms of superstition such as fortune tellers, mediums, ouija boards, tarot cards?

Second Commandment: “Do not take the name of the Lord in vain.” 
Do I use God’s name carelessly, in anger, or in surprise? Have I called down evil upon anyone or anything?

Third Commandment: “Keep holy the Sabbath Day.”
Have I, through my own fault, failed to come to Mass each Sunday and every Holy Day of Obligation? Do I arrive at Mass late or leave early without good reason? Do I allow myself to be distracted at Mass?

Fourth Commandment: “Honor your father and mother.” 
Have I disobeyed my parents or treated them with disrespect? Am I disrespectful, impolite, or discourteous toward my family? Have I neglected my work or my studies? Have I been helpful in my home? Have I failed to study seriously and with diligence? Have I missed an exam at school because of laziness? Am I disrespectful toward the elderly? Am I disobedient to the civil law or to those in authority such as the police?

Fifth Commandment: “You shall not kill.”
Did I have an abortion or help another to have an abortion? Have I mutilated my body or another’s body? Did I attempt suicide or seriously consider thoughts of suicide? Do I act violently by fighting or hitting others? Have I had thoughts of hatred toward another? Have I taken illegal drugs or abused prescription drugs? Have I sold or distributed illegal drugs? Do I neglect to take proper care of my body? Do I eat too much, or sleep too much? Do I drink beer or other alcoholic beverages in excess? Have I allowed myself to become intoxicated?  Am I too concerned about my health or appearance? Do I deliberately harbor unkind and revengeful thoughts about others? Have Itaken revenge? Have I used harsh or abusive language toward another? Do I act rudely, impolitely, or ridicule others? Have I been guilty of the sin of racism? Am I cruel to animals?

Sixth & Ninth Commandments: “Do not commit adultery.  Do not covet your neighbors wife.” 
Have I desired or done impure things? Have I taken pleasure in entertaining impure thoughts or desires? Have I read impure material, listened to music with impure lyrics, or looked at impure images, whether in photos or on television or in movies or on the Internet? Have I aroused sexual desire in myself or another by impure kissing, embracing, or touching? Have I committed impure actions alone, i.e., masturbation? Have I committed homosexual acts or other unnatural acts? Do I use artificial contraception whether surgical, barrier or chemical methods? Have I dressed immodestly or been too concerned with the way I look? Do I use vulgar language or tell or listen to impure jokes or stories?

Seventh and tenth Commandments: “You shall not steal.  Do not covet your neighbor’s goods.” 
Have I taken anything that was not my own? Have I damaged private or public property or defaced it by vandalism? Have I been guilty of shop-lifting? Have I accepted or bought stolen property or helped someone to steal? Have I bribed someone? Do I gamble excessively? Have I borrowed something without the owner’s permission? Have I failed to return something I borrowed? Do I waste money or spend it extravagantly? Have I harbored a greed for money or worldly possessions? Have I made of money, or any possession, a false god? Do I waste goods or food? Have I cheated on tests or schoolwork? Have I cheated in games or sports?

Eighth Commandment: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” 
Have I lied deliberately? Have I sworn to do something sinful or illegal? Have I slandered others by attributing to them sins they did not commit or of which I had no evidence? Do I gossip about others or listen to gossip? Have I told a secret I was asked to keep? Have I betrayed someone’s trust? Have I criticized anyone uncharitably? Do I make rash judgments and harbor false suspicions about others? Have I deliberately misled or deceived anyone? Have I refused to forgive someone or held a grudge against him or her? Have I failed to apologize or make amends to someone I offended?

Other considerations:  Am I greedy or selfish or do I indulge in self-pity? Am I proud or vain or do I show off?  Am I superficial and worldly? Do I desire to be praised by exaggerating my success? Am I touchy and hypersensitive? Do I magnify the least oversight or thoughtlessness into an insult or deliberate slight? Have I been boastful? Have I been arrogant with others? Have I obstinately defended actions which are sinful, either my own or other’s? Am I rebellious? Have I spent useless time planted before the TV when I could be doing more constructive things? Am I envious of someone’s possessions and do I inordinately desire them to be my own? Do I take delight in the misfortunes of others?

(For examination on 7 Deadly Sins scroll down below)

Once you have had time to reflect on your sins, simply go to the confessional and celebrate the sacrament of Reconciliation in the following way:

Go into the confessional and say, In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.   Forgive me, father, for I have sinned.  It has been (how long?) since my last confession and these are my sins(confess all your sins…be not afraid!).

Father will give you a penance and then ask you to pray the Act of Contrition.  Feel free to use this one:


O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended You, and I detest all my sins because of Your just punishments, but most of all because they offend You, my God, who are all-good and deserving of all my love.  I firmly resolve, with the help of Your grace, to sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin.  Amen.

The priest will then say the prayer of forgiveness (absolution).

If your penance was to say some prayers please immediately go back to your seat and say your prayers.

That’s it!  You’re forgiven!

Individual Examination of Conscience – 7 Deadly Sins

Pride: “Pride is an untrue opinion of ourselves, an untrue idea of what we are not.” Have I a superior attitude in thinking, or speaking or acting? Am I snobbish?  Have I offensive, haughty ways of acting or carrying myself?  Do I hold myself above others? Do I demand recognition?  Do I desire to be always first? Do I seek advice?  Am I ready to accept advice? Am I in any sense a “bully”?  Am I inclined to be “bossy”? Do I speak ill of others?  Have I lied about others?  Do I make known the faults of others?  Do I seek to place the blame on others, excusing myself?  Is there anyone to whom I refuse to speak? Is there anyone to whom I have not spoken for a long time?  Am I prone to argue?  Am I offensive in my arguments? Have I a superior “know-it-all attitude” in arguments?  Am I self-conscious?  Am I sensitive?  Am I easily wounded?

Envy: “Envy is a sadness which we feel, on account of the good that happens to our neighbor.”  Do I feel sad at the prosperity of others? At their success in games? In athletics?  Do I rejoice at their failures?  Do I envy the riches of others?

Sloth: “Sloth is a kind of cowardice and disgust, which makes us neglect and omit our duties, rather than to discipline ourselves.”  Have I an inordinate love of rest, neglecting my duties?  Do I act lazily?  Am I too fond of rest? Do I take lazy positions in answering prayers? Do I kneel in a lounging way?  Do I delight in idle conversation?  Do I fail to be fervent in the service of God?

Lust: “Lust is the love of the pleasures that are contrary to purity.”  Have I desired or done impure things? Have I taken pleasure in entertaining impure thoughts or desires? Have I read impure material, listened to music with impure lyrics, or looked at impure images, whether in photos or on television or in movies or on the Internet? Have I aroused sexual desire in myself or another by impure kissing, embracing, or touching? Have I committed impure actions alone, i.e.,masturbation? Do I dress immodestly or am I too concerned with the way I look?Do I use vulgar language or tell or listen to impure jokes or stories? Have I given into desires of adultery even in my imagination?

Covetousness: “Covetousness is a disordered love of the goods of this world.”  Do I dispose of my money properly or selfishly?  Do I discharge my duties in justice to my fellow man?  Do I discharge my duties in justice to the Church?

Gluttony:“Gluttony is a disordered love of eating and drinking.”  Do I eat to live or live to eat?  Do I drink to excess?  Do I get drunk?  Do I misuse prescription drugs?  Do I use illegal drugs?  Have I allowed myself to become addicted to alcohol and/or drugs?

Anger: “An emotion of the soul, which leads us violently to repel whatever hurts or displeases us.”  Am I prone to anger?  Does practically any little thing arouse my temper?  Am I what is generally termed “a sore-head”? Do I fail to repress the first signs of anger? Do I fail to get along well with everybody? Do I ponder over slights or injuries and even presume them?  Do I rejoice at the misfortunes of others? Do I think of means of revenge? Of “getting even”?  Am I of an argumentative disposition? Have I a spirit of contradiction?  Am I given to ridicule of persons, places, or things?  Am I hard to get along with?  Do I carry grudges, remain “on the outs” with anyone?  Do I talk about the faults of others?  Do I reveal the faults or defects of others?  Do I reveal the faults of others from the wrong motive?

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