Examination of Conscience

Examination of Conscience

To make an examination ahead of Seeking forgiveness from God:

  • Set aside some quiet time for reflection.
  • Start by praying to the Holy Spirit, asking for help in making a good examination to prepare for Confession.
  • Read through the items on this list and honestly reflect on your behavior for each item.

The Ten Commandments

First Commandment

I am the LORD your God. You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.

Have I…

  • Disobeyed the commandments of God or the Church?
  • Refused to accept what God has revealed as true, or what the Catholic Church proposes for belief?
  • Denied the existence of God?
  • Nourished and protected my faith?
  • Rejected everything opposed to a sound faith?
  • Deliberately misled others about doctrine or the faith?
  • Rejected the Catholic faith, joined another Christian denomination, or joined or practiced another religion?
  • Joined a group forbidden to Catholics (Masons, communists, etc.)?
  • Despaired about my salvation or the forgiveness of my sins?
  • Presumed on Godʼs mercy? (Committing a sin in expectation of forgiveness, or asking for forgiveness without conversion and practicing virtue.)
  • Loved someone or something more than God (money, power, sex, ambition, etc.)?
  • Let someone or something influence my choices more than God?
  • Engaged in superstitious practices? (Incl. horoscopes, fortune tellers, etc.)
  • Been involved in the occult? (Seances, ouija board, worship of Satan, etc.)
  • Formally left the Catholic Church?
  • Hidden a serious sin or told a lie in confession?

Second Commandment

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

Have I…

  • Used the name of God in cursing or blasphemy?
  • Failed to keep vows or promises that I have made to God?
  • Spoken about the Faith, the Church, the saints, or sacred things with irreverence, hatred or defiance?
  • Watched television or movies, or listened to music that treated God, the Church, the saints, or sacred things irreverently? 
  • Used vulgar, suggestive or obscene speech? 
  • Belittled others in my speech? 
  • Behaved disrespectfully in Church? 
  • Misused places or things set apart for the worship of God? 
  • Committed perjury? (Breaking an oath or lying under oath.) 
  • Blamed God for my failings?

Third Commandment

Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day.

Have I…

  • Set time aside each day for personal prayer to God? 
  • Missed Mass on Sunday or Holy Days (through own fault w/o sufficient reason)? 
  • Committed a sacrilege against the Blessed Sacrament? 
  • Received a sacrament while in the state of mortal sin? 
  • Habitually come late to and/or leave early from Mass without a good reason? 
  • Shop, labor, or do business unnecessarily on Sunday or other Holy Days of Obligation? 
  • Not attend to taking my children to Mass? 
  • Knowingly eat meat on a forbidden day (or not fasting on a fast day)? 
  • Eat or drink within one hour of receiving Communion (other than medical need)?

Fourth Commandment

Honor your father and your mother.

Have I…

  • (If still under my parentsʼ care) Obeyed all that my parents reasonably asked of me? 
  • Neglected the needs of my parents in their old age or in their time of need? 
  • (If still in school) Obeyed the reasonable demands of my teachers?
  • Neglected to give my children proper food, clothing, shelter, education, discipline and care (even after Confirmation)?
  • Provided for the religious education and formation of my children for as long as they are under my care?
  • Ensured that my children still under my care regularly frequent the sacraments of Penance and Holy Communion?
  • Educated my children in a way that corresponds to my religious convictions? 
  • Provided my children with a positive, prudent and personalized education in the Catholic teaching on human sexuality? 
  • Been to my children a good example of how to live the Catholic Faith? 
  • Prayed with and for my children? 
  • Lived in humble obedience to those who legitimately exercise authority over me? 
  • Have I broken the law? 
  • Have I supported or voted for a politician whose positions are opposed to the teachings of Christ and the Catholic Church?

Fifth Commandment

You shall not kill.

Have I…

  • Unjustly and intentionally killed a human being? 
  • Been involved in an abortion, directly or indirectly (through advice, etc.)? 
  • Seriously considered or attempted suicide? 
  • Supported, promoted or encouraged the practice of assisted suicide or mercy killing? 
  • Deliberately desired to kill an innocent human being? 
  • Unjustly inflicted bodily harm an another person? 
  • Unjustly threatened another person with bodily harm? 
  • Verbally or emotionally abused another person? 
  • Hated another person, or wished him evil? 
  • Been prejudiced, or unjustly discriminated against others because of their race, color, nationality, sex or religion? 
  • Joined a hate group? 
  • Purposely provoked another by teasing or nagging? 
  • Recklessly endangered my life or health, or that of another, by my actions? 
  • Driven recklessly or under the influence of alcohol or other drugs? 
  • Abused alcohol or other drugs? 
  • Sold or given drugs to others to use for non-therapeutic purposes? 
  • Used tobacco immoderately? 
  • Over-eaten? 
  • Encouraged others to sin by giving scandal? 
  • Helped another to commit a mortal sin (through advice, driving them somewhere, etc.?
  • Caused serious injury or death by criminal neglect? 
  • Indulged in serious anger? 
  • Refused to control my temper? 
  • Been mean to, quarreled with, or willfully hurt someone? 
  • Been unforgiving to others, when mercy or pardon was requested? 
  • Sought revenge or hoped something bad would happen to someone? 
  • Delighted to see someone else get hurt or suffer? 
  • Treated animals cruelly, causing them to suffer or die needlessly?

Sixth & Ninth Commandments

You shall not commit adultery. You shall not covet your neighborʼs wife.

Have I…

  • Practiced the virtue of chastity?
  • Given in to lust? (The desire for sexual pleasure unrelated to spousal love in marriage.) 
  • Used an artificial means of birth control?
  • Refused to be open to conception, without just cause? (Catechism, 2368)
  • Participated in immoral techniques for in vitro fertilization or artificial insemination?
  • Sterilized my sex organs for contraceptive purposes?
  • Deprived my spouse of the marital right, without just cause?
  • Claimed my own marital right without concern for my spouse?
  • Deliberately caused male climax outside of normal sexual intercourse? (Catechism, 2366)
  • Willfully entertained impure thoughts?
  • Purchased, viewed, or made use of pornography?
  • Watched movies and television that involve sex and nudity?
  • Listened to music or jokes that are harmful to purity?
  • Committed adultery? (Sexual relations with someone who is married, or with someone other than my spouse.)
  • Committed incest? (Sexual relations with a relative or in-law.)
  • Committed fornication? (Sexual relations with someone of the opposite sex when neither of us is married.)
  • Engaged in homosexual activity? (Sexual activity with someone of the same sex.)
  • Committed rape?
  • Masturbated? (Deliberate stimulation of oneʼs own sexual organs for sexual pleasure.)
  • Engaged in sexual foreplay (petting) reserved for marriage?
  • Preyed upon children or youth for my sexual pleasure?
  • Engaged in unnatural sexual activities?
  • Engaged in prostitution, or paid for the services of a prostitute?
  • Seduced someone, or allowed myself to be seduced?
  • Made uninvited and unwelcome sexual advances toward another?
  • Purposely dressed immodestly?

Seventh & Tenth Commandments

You shall not steal. You shall not covet your neighborʼs goods.

Have I…

  • Stolen? (Take something that doesnʼt belong to me against the reasonable will of the owner.)
  • Envied others on account of their possessions?
  • Tried to live in a spirit of Gospel poverty and simplicity?
  • Given generously to others in need?
  • Considered that God has provided me with money so that I might use it to benefit others, as well as for my own legitimate needs?
  • Freed myself from a consumer mentality?
  • Practiced the works of mercy?
  • Deliberately defaced, destroyed or lost anotherʼs property?
  • Cheated on a test, taxes, sports, games, or in business?
  • Squandered money in compulsive gambling?
  • Make a false claim to an insurance company?
  • Paid my employees a living wage, or failed to give a full dayʼs work for a full dayʼs pay?
  • Failed to honor my part of a contract?
  • Failed to make good on a debt?
  • Overcharge someone, especially to take advantage of anotherʼs hardship or ignorance?
  • Misused natural resources?

Eighth Commandment

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

Have I…

  • Lied?
  • Knowingly and wilfully deceived another?
  • Perjured myself under oath?
  • Gossiped?
  • Committed detraction? (Destroying a personʼs reputation by telling others about his faults for no good reason.)
  • Committed slander or calumny? (Telling lies about another person in order to destroy his reputation.)
  • Committed libel? (Writing lies about another person in order to destroy his reputation.)
  • Been guilty of rash judgment? (Assuming the worst of another person based on circumstantial evidence.)
  • Failed to make reparation for a lie I told, or for harm done to a personʼs reputation?
  • Failed to speak out in defense of the Catholic Faith, the Church, or of another person?
  • Betrayed anotherʼs confidence through speech?