Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Guide to Help an Examination of Conscience Before Confession

Prior to confession, as well as each day in our life, we should compare our lives with the Ten Commandments.  Only through sincere examination can we identify our faults and know what we must confess and where we must strive to live more as Christ would have us live.
First - I am the Lord thy God.  Thou shalt not have strange gods before me.
* Do I give God time every day in prayer?
* Do I seek to love Him with my whole heart?
* Have I been involved with superstitious practices or have I been involved with the occult?
* Do I seek to surrender myself to God’s Word as taught by the Church?
* Have I ever received Communion in a state of mortal sin?
* Have I ever deliberately told a lie in confession or have I withheld a mortal sin from the priest in confession?
* Have I been guilty of great irreverence in church?
* Excessive talking, immodest dress, talking on the phone, loud calling out.
* Have I kept the one hour Eucharistic Fast?
Second - Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
* Have I used God’s name in vain: lightly or carelessly?
* Have I been angry with God?
* Have I wished evil upon another person?
* Have I insulted a sacred person or abused a sacred object?
Third - Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day.
* Have I deliberately missed Mass on Sundays or Holy Days of Obligation?
* Have I tried to observe Sunday as a family day and a day of rest?
* Do I do needless work on Sunday?
* Have I made others miss Mass on Sundays or Holy Days of obligation, leave early or be late for Mass?
* Have I been willfully distracted during Mass?

Fourth - Honor thy Father and thy Mother.
* Do I honor and obey my parents?
* Have I neglected my duties to my spouse and children?
* Have I given my family, my children, good religious example and training?
* Do I try to bring peace into my home life?
* Do I care for my aged and infirm parents and relatives?
* Do I respect my parents
* Am I obedient to my parents

Fifth - Thou shall not kill.
* Have I had an abortion or encouraged anyone to have an abortion? Or used pills such as the morning after pill?
* Have I physically harmed anyone?
* Have I abused alcohol or drugs?  Driven while under the influence of these?
* Did I give scandal to anyone, thereby leading them into sin?
* Have I been angry or resentful?
* Hove I harbored hatred in my heart?
* Have I mutilated myself through any form of sterilization?
* Have I encouraged or condoned sterilization?
* Have I abused myself through gluttony
* Have I harbored a grudge against anyone
* Have I sought to destroy someone’s reputation
* Have I mutilated my body in any way

Sixth - Thou shalt not commit adultery.
* Have I been faithful to my marriage vows in thought and action?
* Have I treated my wife with respect and dignity?
* Have I directed my husband to do what is right?
* Have I engaged in any sexual activity outside of marriage?
* Have I used any method of contraception or artificial birth control in my marriage?
* Has each sexual act in my marriage been open to the transmission of new life?
* Have I been guilty of masturbation?
* Have I sought to control my thoughts?
* Have I respected all members of the opposite sex, or have I thought of other people as objects?
* Have in engaged in impure conversations or joke telling?
* Have I deliberately looked at indecent images?
* Have I used pornographic or soft pornographic material?
* Have I been guilty of any homosexual activity?
* Do I seek to be chaste in my thoughts, words and actions?
* Am I careful to dress modestly?

Seventh - Thou shalt not steal.
* Have I stolen what is not mine?
* Have I returned or made restitution for what I have stolen?
* Do I waste time at work, school or at home?
* Do I gamble excessively, thereby denying my family of their needs?
* Do I pay my debts promptly?
* Do I seek to share what I have with the poor?
* Have I cheated my employers?
* Have I cheated my employees.
* Do I pay them a fair wage and treat them fairly?
* Have I run my business ethically and charged a fair price?
* Have I made an unfair profit?
* Are my workers and suppliers treated fairly?
* Have I spent money lavishly, or saved an amount more than I’ll ever need while many die of starvation?

Eighth - Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
* Have I lied?
* Have I gossiped?
* Have I spoken behind someone else’s back?
* Am I sincere in my dealings with others?
* Am I critical, negative or uncharitable in my thoughts of others?
* Do I keep secret what should be kept confidential?

Ninth - Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife.
* Have I consented to impure thoughts?
* Have I caused them by impure reading, movies, conversations or curiosity?
* Do I seek to control my imagination?
* Do I pray at once to banish impure thoughts and temptations?

Tenth - Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods.
* Am I jealous of what other people have?
* Do I envy the families or possessions of others?
* Am I greedy or selfish?
* Are material possessions the purpose of my life?
*Do I spend a majority of my time concerned with wealth accumulation?
* Do I trust that God will care for all of my material and spiritual needs?
The Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy
Have I neglected to do the following when circumstances obliged me:

The Seven Spiritual Works of Mercy
1. To admonish sinners.
2. To instruct the ignorant.
3. To counsel the doubtful.
4. To comfort the sorrowful.
5. To bear wrongs patiently.
6. To forgive all injuries.
7. To pray for the living and the dead?

The Seven Corporal Works of Mercy
1. To feed the hungry.
2. To give drink to the thirsty.
3. To clothe the naked.
4. To visit and ransom the captives.
5. To harbor the harborless.
6. To visit the sick.
7. To bury the dead

The Seven Deadly Sins and the Opposite Virtues
1. Pride -- Humility
2. Covetousness -- Liberality
3. Lust-- Chastity
4. Anger -- Meekness
5. Gluttony -- Temperance
6. Envy -- Brotherly love
7. Sloth -- Diligence

Five Effects of Pride
1. Vainglory:  a. Boasting  b. Dissimulation / Duplicity
2. Ambition
3. Contempt for others
4. Anger! Revenge / Resentment
5. Stubbornness! Obstinacy.

Nine Ways of Being an Accessory to Another’s Sin
a. Have I knowingly caused others to sin?
b. Have I cooperated in the sins of others:
1. By counsel.
2. By command.
3. By consent.
4. By provocation.
5. By praise or flattery.
6. By concealment.
7. By partaking.
8. By silence.
9. By defense of the ill done?

The Four Sins which Cry to Heaven for Vengeance
1. Willful Murder.
2. The sin of Sodomy or Lesbianism.
3. Oppression of the poor.
4. Defrauding the laborer of his just wages.

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