An Examination of Conscience is a tool to assist one in preparing to make a good Confession. Just as accurately sharing symptoms of illness with our doctor helps physical healing, so a thorough and complete Confession of sin speeds spiritual healing. In Confession, Jesus is the great physician of our souls. As He once said, “Those who are healthy do not need a doctor, but the sick do. I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners.” LK 5:31
I. I am the Lord your God. You shall not have strange gods before me.
- Do I strive to love God with my whole heart, mind, soul and strength?
- Do I give Him the priority in my life that He deserves as my Creator and Lord or rather do I make compromises on my love for God for the sake of pride, pleasure or the avoidance of a necessary sacrifice? Do I spend time in prayer daily?
- Have I had any direct involvement with the occult, witchcraft, wicca, ouija boards, seances, tarot cards, new age crystals, fortune telling, or the like? Have I put faith in horoscopes?
- Have I received Holy Communion in the state of mortal sin?
- Have I abused the Sacrament of Reconciliation by deliberately lying to the priest or deliberately choosing not to confess a mortal sin?
- Have I publicly denied a truth of the faith out of concern for the respect and opinion of others? Have I doubted or denied my faith?
- Have I read books against the Catholic faith?
II. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
- We would never think of using the name of a friend in an irreverent way. Have we always treated the all-holy name of God with the greatest possible reverence and awe?
- Have I deliberately cursed or shown contempt for or ridiculed God, Sacred Scripture, the Church, Mary, the saints, or sacred places or things? Did I cause scandal by doing this in the presence of others?
- Have I failed to keep the promises/oaths made in the presence of God and while invoking His Name?
- Did I curse or swear? Do I use profane language?
III. Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day.
- Have I deliberately missed Mass on a Sunday or Holy Day of obligation without a serious reason such as illness or lack of transportation?
- Have I deliberately come late or left early from Mass?
- Do I try to keep Sunday as a day of rest and relaxation by avoiding unnecessary work?
- Have I deliberately allowed my children to miss Mass without a serious reason?
- Did I omit my Easter Duty? Did I omit my yearly Confession duty?
- Was I easily distracted at Mass?
IV. Honor your father and your mother.
- Do I honor, respect, and obey my parents?
- Have I deliberately harmed my parents by word or by deed? Have I spoken badly of them in the presence of others?
- Do I treat my children with love, respect, and affection?
- Am I concerned about the well being (physical, spiritual, mental) of all family members?
- Have I neglected my family responsibilities?
- Do I respect and obey my legitimate superiors?
V. You shall not kill.
- Have I intentionally harmed anyone?
- Have I had an abortion or encouraged or helped someone to have an abortion?
- Have I abused drugs or alcohol? Have I gotten high or drunk?
- Have I attempted suicide or given deliberate consent to the idea? Have I neglected my spiritual, physical or mental health or tried to harm myself?
- Have I ever led anyone to sin through bad example or through direct encouragement?
- Have I gossiped, made fun of, or harmed someone’s reputation by my words?
- Have I harbored grudges or refused to forgive someone who has hurt me?
- Have I refused to help someone who was really in need?
- Have I been angry, resentful, or kept hatred in my heart?
- Have I failed to correct my transgressions through charity?
VI. You shall not commit adultery.
- Am I faithful to my spouse in thought and in action?
- If unmarried, have I engaged in any kind of sexual activity with anyone of either sex (includes prolonged kisses, passionate touches or any use of another person as an object to obtain sexual pleasure)?
- Am I chaste in my demonstrations of affection?
- Have I indulged in pornographic magazines, videos, or Internet websites?
- Have I masturbated or fornicated?
- Do I dress modestly (i.e. does my dress reflect my dignity as a child of God and preserve my body as a temple of the Holy Spirit or could I lead others to sinful thoughts by my dress)?
- Have I looked lustfully at someone or used impure speech in speaking of another? Have I led others to impure thoughts or actions by my bad example?
- Do I avoid laziness, gluttony, idleness, and the occasions of impurity?
VII. You shall not steal.
- Have I stolen or accepted stolen goods?
- Have I deliberately destroyed the property of others?
- Have I cheated anyone of what I owe? Do I pay my debts promptly?
- Have I cheated on my taxes?
- Do I gamble excessively?
- Do I share what I have with the poor and the Church according to my means? Am I stingy?
- Have I returned or made equal restitution for anything obtained immorally?
VIII. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
- Have I lied? Have I sworn falsely? Have I gossiped?
- Have I plagiarized or been academically dishonest?
- Have I revealed secrets or confidential information without good reason?
- Have I ruined anyone’s reputation by spreading lies or maliciously revealing their faults and sins?
- Am I critical, negative or uncharitable in my talk? Am I sincere?
IX. You shall not desire your neighbor’s wife.
- Have I deliberately and consciously entertained sexual thoughts about anyone beside a spouse?
- Do I guard my imagination and senses?
- Have I watched shows, plays, pictures, or movies that contain impure scenes with the deliberate intention of being aroused by them? Am I responsible about what I read?
- Do I pray at once to banish impure thoughts and temptations?
X. You shall not desire your neighbor’s goods.
- Am I envious or excessively desirous of the possessions, abilities, talents, beauty or success of others?
- Have I been sorrowful over another’s good fortune? Have I been happy when someone was hurt?
- Am I moody, gloomy, sad or sour?
- Do I work, study and keep busy to counter idle thoughts?
- Is my heart set on earthly possessions or on the true treasures in Heaven?