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Examination of Conscience

It is becoming more difficult for good souls to find truly Catholic literature.

Many people in today's confusing world need good articles which explains what is right and wrong and how to make a good confession. As you can see from St. Anthony Mary Claret's article "Your Personal Salvation", making a good confession is so important. Therefore we present as a service to all our readers this prayer guide which, if followed, will help you to make better confessions.


Examination of Conscience: for Adults

Prayer before Confession: O Lord, Grant me light to see myself as Thou dost see me, and the grace to be truly and effectively sorry for my sins. O Mary, help me to make a good confession.

Let us often recall as Sacred Scripture tells us: "He was wounded for our iniquities, He was bruised for our sins: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him and by His bruises we are healed." (Isaias 53:5)

How to Confess: Tell the priest the specific kind of sins you have committed and, to the best of your ability, how many times you have committed them since your last good confession. You are obliged to confess only mortal sins, since you can obtain forgiveness for your venial sins by sacrifices and acts of charity. If you are in doubt about whether a sin is mortal or venial, mention your doubt to the confessor. Remember also confession of venial sins is very helpful for avoiding sin and advancing toward Heaven.

Preliminary Considerations:

1. Have I ever failed to confess a past serious sin, or have I disguised or hidden such a sin? 
2. Have I been guilty of irreverence for this sacrament by failing to examine my conscience carefully? 
3. Have I failed to do the penance given to me by the priest? 
4. Have I neglected to receive Holy Communion during Easter time? 
5. Have I any habits of serious sin to confess first (e.g. impurity, drunkenness, etc.)?

First Commandment:

1. Have I neglected the knowledge of my faith as taught in the catechism, such as the Apostles Creed, the Ten Commandments, the Seven Sacraments, the Our Father, etc.? 
2. Have I deliberately doubted or denied any of the teachings of the Church? 
3. Have I taken part in any non-Catholic worship? 
4. Am I a member of any non-Catholic religious organization, secret society or anti-Catholic group? 
5. Have I knowingly read any blasphemous or anti-Catholic literature? 
6. Have I practiced any superstitions (such as horoscopes, fortune telling, Ouija board, etc.)? 
7. Have I been grasping and avaricious, placing too great importance upon material goods and comforts?

Second Commandment:

1. Have I used God's name in vain, as in anger or in joking? 
2. Have I murmured or complained against God (blasphemy)? 
3. Have I maligned priests or others consecrated to God? 
4. Have I sworn by God's name falsely or rashly? 
5. Have I broken a vow made to God?

Third Commandment:

1. Have I missed Mass on Sundays or Holy Days of obligation? 
2. Have I been late for Mass through my own fault? 
3. Have I made others miss Mass or be late for Mass? 
4. Have I done unnecessary servile work on Sunday? 
5. Have I failed to observe the laws of fast and abstinence?

Fourth Commandment:

1. Have I been disobedient or disrespectful to my parents, or have I neglected them? 
2. Have I shown irreverence to others in positions of authority? 
3. Have I mistreated my spouse or my children? 
4. Have I been disobedient or disrespectful to my husband? 
5. Regarding my children: 
Have I neglected their material needs? 
Have I failed to care for their early baptism (i.e. within four weeks of birth)? 
Have I failed to care for their proper religious education? 
Have I allowed them to neglect their religious duties? 
Have I allowed them to date/go steady without the prospect of marriage within the near future? 
Have I failed to supervise the company they keep? 
Have I failed to discipline them when they need it? 
Have I given them a bad example? 
Have I scandalized them by arguing with my spouse in front of my children? 
By cursing or swearing in front of them? 
Have I guarded modesty in the home? 
Have I permitted them to wear immodest clothing (tight jeans, slacks, dresses, sweaters, see-through blouses, short-shorts, revealing swim suits, etc.)? 
Have I denied their freedom to marry or follow a religious vocation?

Fifth and Eighth Commandments:

1. Have I quarrelled with anyone? 
2. Have I cursed anyone or otherwise wished evil on them? 
3. Is there anyone with whom I refuse to speak, or against whom I bear a grudge? 
4. Have I taken pleasure in anyone's misfortunes? 
5. Have I lied about anyone (calumny)? 
6. Have my lies caused them any material or spiritual harm? 
7. Have I rashly judged anyone (i.e. believed firmly, without sufficient evidence, that they are guilty of some moral defect or crime)? 
8. Have I injured the good name of another by revealing true but hidden faults (detraction)? 
9. Have I been guilty of talebearing, (i.e. reporting something unfavorable said of someone by another so as to create enmity between them)? 
10. Have I lent an ear to or encouraged the spreading of scandal about my neighbor? 
11. Have I been jealous or envious of anyone? 
12. Have I had an abortion or counselled anyone else to do so?

Sixth and Ninth Commandments:

1. Have I denied my spouse his or her marriage rights? 
2. Have I practiced birth control? 
3. Have I abused my marriage rights in any other way? 
4. Have I committed adultery or fornication? 
5. Have I committed any unnatural sin against purity? 
6. Have I touched or embraced another impurely? 
7. Have I engaged in prolonged or passionate kissing? 
8. Have I sinned impurely by myself (self-abuse)? 
9. Have I entertained or taken pleasure in impure thoughts? 
10. Have I indulged in lustful desires for anyone? 
11. Have I willfully indulged in any sexual pleasure whether complete or incomplete? 
12. Have I been an occasion of sin for others by wearing tight or otherwise revealing and immodest clothing? 
13. Have I done anything to provoke or occasion impure thoughts or desires in others deliberately or through carelessness? 
14. Have I read indecent literature or looked at bad pictures? 
15. Have I watched suggestive movies or TV programs or permitted my children to do so? 
16. Have I used indecent language or told indecent stories? 
17. Have I willingly listened to such stories? 
18. Have I boasted of my sins or taken delight in past sins? 
19. Have I sinned against chastity in any other way?

(Note Well: Do not be afraid to tell the priest any impure sin you may have committed. Do not hide or try to disguise any such sin. The priest is there to help you and forgive you. Nothing you say will shock him, so do not be afraid, no matter how ashamed you might be.)

Seventh and Tenth Commandments:

1. Have I stolen anything? 
2. Have I damaged anyone's property? 
3. Have I cheated or defrauded others? 
4. Have I refused or neglected to pay any debts? 
5. Have I cheated my employer of an honest day's work? 
6. Have I cheated my employees of their wages? 
7. Have I refused or neglected to help anyone in urgent need? 
8. Have I failed to make restitution for my stealing, cheating and frauds? (Ask the priest how to go about this).

Finally:

1. Have I knowingly caused others to sin? 
2. Have I co-operated in the sins of others? 
3. Have I sinned by gluttony? 
4. Have I become drunk? 
5. Have I used drugs or marijuana? 
6. Have I indulged in boasting or vainglory? 
7. Have I received Holy Communion in the state of mortal sin? 
8. Have I contributed as far as I must to the support of the Church? 
9. Have I observed the laws of the Church concerning marriage? 
10. Is there any other sin I can think of and am obliged to confess?

Prayer for a Good Confession:

O my God, by my grievous sins I have crucified again Thy Divine Son and made Him a mockery. For this I have deserved Thy wrath and made myself fit for the fires of hell. How ungrateful have I been to Thee as well, my heavenly Father, Who created me out of nothing, redeemed me by the precious blood of Thy Son and sanctified me by Thy holy sacraments and by the Holy Ghost. But Thou hast spared me by Thy mercy, to make this confession. Receive me back as Thy prodigal son and grant me to confess well, that I may begin anew to love Thee with my whole heart and soul, and henceforth to keep Thy commandments and suffer patiently whatever temporal punishment may remain. I hope by Thy goodness and power to obtain everlasting life in Paradise. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

A Final Note

Remember to confess your sins with supernatural sorrow for your sins and with a firm purpose of amendment. Ask your confessor to help you with any difficulties you have in making a good confession.