An Examination of Conscience

I.  “I am the Lord, thy God, thou shalt not have strange gods before Me.”

Have I sinned against Religion by seriously believing in New Age, Scientology, Astrology, Horoscopes, Fortune-telling, Superstition or engaging in the Occult?  Did I endanger my Catholic Faith or cause scandal by associating with anti-Catholic groups & associations (e.g., the Freemasons)?  Have fame, fortune, money, career, pleasure, etc. replaced God as my highest priority?  Have I neglected my daily prayers?

II.  “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.”

Have I committed blasphemy by using the name of God and Jesus Christ to swear rather than to praise?  Have I committed sacrilege by showing disrespect to holy objects (crucifix, rosary) or contempt for religious persons (bishop, priests, deacons, women religious) or for sacred places (in Church).  Have I committed sacrilege by going to Holy Communion in the state of mortal sin without first going to confession e.g., after missing Mass on Sunday or a Holyday?  Did I violate the one-hour fast before Communion?  Did I break the laws of fast and abstinence during Lent?  Did I neglect my Easter duty to receive Holy Communion at least once?  Have I neglected to support the Church and the poor by sharing my time, talent and treasure?

III.  Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day.

Did I miss Mass on any Sunday or Holyday of Obligation?  (Bad weather and being sick do not count) Have I shown disrespect by leaving Mass early, not paying attention or not joining in the prayers?  Did I do unnecessary work on Sunday which could have been done the day before?  Have I been stingy in my support for the Church?  Do I give of my time & talent?

IV.  Honor thy Father and Mother.

Parents: Have I set a bad example for my children by casually missing Mass, neglecting prayer, or ignore my responsibility to provide a Catholic education by either sending my children to parochial school or to C.C.D. (Religious Education Program)?  Do I show little or no interest in my children’s faith and practice of it?  Have I showed disrespect for those in authority, government or church?  Have I not expressed my moral values to them?  

Children: Have I been disobedient and/or disrespectful to my parents or guardians?  Did I neglect to help them with household chores?  Have I caused them unnecessary worry and anxiety by my attitude, behavior, moods, etc.?

V.  Thou shalt not kill.

Did I consent, recommend, advise, approve, support or have an abortion?  Did I realize that there is an excommunication for anyone who procures an abortion?  Did I actively or passively cooperate with an act of euthanasia whereby ordinary means were stopped or means taken to directly end the life of an elderly or sick person?  Have I committed an act of violence or abuse (physical, sexual, emotional or verbal)?  Have I endangered the lives of others by reckless driving or by driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol?  Do I show contempt for my body by neglecting to take care of my own health?  Have I been mean or unjust to anyone?  Have I held a grudge or sought revenge against someone who wronged me?  Do I point out others’ faults and mistakes while ignoring my own?  Do I complain more than I compliment?  Am I ungrateful for what other people do for me?  Do I tear people down rather than encourage them?  Am I prejudiced against people because of their color, language or ethnic-religious background?

VI.  Thou shalt not commit adultery.

IX.  Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife.

Did I have any sex before or outside of marriage?  Do I view pornographic material (magazines, videos, internet, hot-lines)?  Have I gone to massage parlors or adult book stores?  Did I commit the sins of masturbation and/or artificial contraception?  Have I not avoided the occasions of sin (persons or places) which would tempt me to be unfaithful to my spouse or to my own chastity?  Do I encourage and entertain impure thoughts and desires?  Do I tell or listen to dirty jokes?  Have I committed fornication or adultery?

VII.  Thou shalt not steal.

X.  Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods.

Have I stolen any object, committed any shoplifting or cheated anyone of their money?  Did I knowingly deceive someone in business or commit fraud?  Have I shown disrespect or even contempt for other people’s property?  Have I done any acts of vandalism?  Am I greedy or envious of another’s goods?  Do I let financial and material concerns or the desire for comfort override my duty to God, to Church, to my family or my own spiritual well-being?

VIII.  Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

Have I told a lie in order to deceive someone?  Have I told the truth with the purpose and intention of ruining someone’s reputation (sin of detraction)?  Have I told a lie or spread rumors which may ruin someone’s reputation (sin of calumny or slander)?  Did I commit perjury by false swearing an oath on the Bible?  Am I a busybody or do I love to spread gossip and secrets about others?   Do I love to hear bad news about my enemies?

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