Examination of Conscience from the 10 Commandments

Prayers before Confession

Act of Contrition

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who art all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, do penance and to amend my life. Amen.
Indulgence of three years. Raccolta 36

Examination of Conscience
A Review of the Ten Commandments

Preliminary
Besides telling the nature of your sins, you must also recollect, as far as possible, the number of times you have committed them, telling also (and only) those circumstances which at times may either make a venial sin mortal or a mortal sin notably worse.

1. Have I ever failed to confess a serious sin or disguised it?
2. Have I been guilty of irreverence for this sacrament by failing to examine my conscience carefully?
3. Have I failed to perform the penance given me by the confessor or disobeyed any of his directions?
4. Have I neglected the Easter duty of receiving Holy Communion or failed to confess my sins within a year?
5. Have I any habits of serious sin to confess first (impurity, drunkenness, etc.)?
6. Have I improved on cutting down these habitual sins or is one confession after another sound like the same? If so, what can I resolve to improve?

First Commandment:
I am the Lord thy God. Thou shalt not have strange gods before Me
1. Am I ignorant of my catechism (Act of Contrition, Apostle’s Creed, Ten Commandments, Seven Sacraments, the Our Father)?
2. Have I willfully doubted or denied any of the teachings of the Church(heresy)?
3. Have I taken active part in any non-Catholic worship?
4. Am I a member of any anti-Catholic or any secret society?
5. Have I knowingly read any anti-Catholic literature or watched an anti-Catholic film or program or listened to anti-Catholic rhetoric?
6. Have I practiced any superstitions (horoscopes, fortune tellers, etc.)?
7. Have I failed to defend my Faith when it was attacked or have I remained silent for fear of being rebuked?

Second Commandment:
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain

1. Have I used God’s name in vain by way of profanity?
2. Have I condoned others who use profanity by my silent approval?
3. Have I murmured or complained against God (blasphemy)?
4. Have I maligned priests or others consecrated to God without just reason?
5. Have I sworn by God’s name (oath) either falsely or rashly?
6. Have I broken any vow to God either public or private?
7. Have I rationalized myself around a vow by cutting corners

Third Commandment:
Keep holy the Lord’s Day

1. Have I missed Mass on Sundays or holydays through my own fault?
2. Have I been late for Mass through my own negligence?
3. Do I realize it is a venial sin to miss any part of the Mass?
4. Do I realize being really late for Mass is a mortal sin and my only alternative is to wait and go to another Mass?
5. Have I been inattentive at Mass or otherwise failed in reverence for the Most Blessed Sacrament?
6. Have I done unnecessary servile work (physical labor) or shopping on Sunday?
7. Have I eaten flesh meat on Friday (especially on Good Friday) or on Ash Wednesday or the assigned vigil fast days?
8. Have I obeyed the laws of the Church on fast and abstinence?

Fourth Commandment:
Honor thy Father and Mother

1. Have I been disrespectful to my parents or neglected them?
2. Have I failed in obedience or reverence to others in authority?
3. Have I mistreated my wife or 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 or their proper religious instruction?
-Have I allowed them to neglect their religious duties?
-Have I tolerated their keeping questionable company or steady dating without chaperones?
-Have I otherwise failed to discipline them?
-Have I given them bad example in any way?
-Have I let boys and girls sleep together or with their parents?
-Have I interfered with their freedom to marry or follow a religious vocation?

Fifth Commandment:
Thou shalt not kill

1. Have I placed any one’s life in danger?
2. Have I threatened any one’s life in anger?
3. Have I condoned or promoted abortion?
4. Have I condoned or tolerated others who promote abortion?
5. Have I taken pleasure in anyone’s misfortune?
6. Have I jeopardized others by my driving recklessly?
7. Have I used contraceptives thus preventing life?
8. Have I been sympathetic to those contemplating suicide?

Sixth & Ninth Commandments:
Thou shalt not commit adultery and Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife

1. Have I committed adultery or fornication?
3. Have I jeopardized my marriage by flirting or untoward glances and advances toward the opposite sex?
4. Have I denied my spouse his or her marriage rights?
5. Have I practiced birth control?
6. Have I abused my marriage rights in any other way?
7. Have I touched or embraced another impurely?
8. Have I sinned with others of the same sex?
9. Have I committed masturbation or otherwise sinned impurely with myself?
10. Have I harbored lustful desires for anyone?
11. Have I indulged in other impure thoughts?
12. Have I failed to dress modestly?
13. Have I done anything to provoke or occasion impure thoughts in others?
14. Have I read indecent literature or looked at indecent pictures or websites?
15. Have I watched suggestive films or television programs?
16. Have I permitted my children or others under my charge to do these things?
17. Have I used indecent language or told indecent stories?
18. Have I willingly listened to such stories?
19. Have I boasted of my sins?
20. Have I condoned promiscuity by my silent consent of the actions of others?
21. Have I sinned against chastity in any other way?
22. Do I realize my body is the temple of the Holy Ghost and must be treated as such?
23. Do I realize that there are more souls in hell for the sins of the flesh than any other sin? How seriously do I take that and what can I do to become more chaste?

Seventh & Tenth Commandments:
Thou shalt not steal and Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods

1. Have I stolen anything?
2. Have I damaged anyone’s property through my own fault?
3. Have I cheated or defrauded others?
4. Have I refused or neglected to pay any just debts?
5. Have I neglected my duties or been slothful in my work?
6. Have I refused or neglected to help anyone in urgent necessity?
7. Have I failed to make restitution?
8. Have I harmed the good name or reputation of others in any way?

Eighth Commandment:
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor

1. Have I lied about anyone (calumny)?
2. Have I rash judged anyone of a serious sin?
3. Have I engaged in gossip (detraction) or spread scandal?
4. Have I lent an ear to scandal about my neighbor?
5. Have I been jealous or envious of anyone?
6. Have I taken pleasure in anyone’s misfortune?
8. Have I quarreled with any one and caused scandal?
2. Have I cursed anyone or otherwise wished evil on him?
7. Is there anyone to whom I refuse to speak or be reconciled?

OTHER SINS

1. Have I knowingly caused others to sin?
2. Have I cooperated in the sins of others?
3. Have I sinned by gluttony?
4. Have I become intoxicated?
5. Have I misused liquor or narcotics?
6. Have I been motivated by avarice?
7. Have I indulged in boasting or vain glory?
8. Have I received Holy Communion or another sacrament in the state of mortal sin?
9. Is there any other sin I need to confess?

Take time to thoroughly go over the list before you travel to church to go to confession. Once at church or in line for confession, recall the sins you have examined and say the prayer:

Prayer to the Holy Ghost

Come, Holy Ghost, fill the hearts of Thy faithful and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love. Send forth Thy Spirit and they shall be created and Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.

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