A guide for preparing for the Sacrament of Penance.
What is the Examination of Conscience?
The Examination of Conscience is a helpful way of looking at ourselves and our thoughts, intentions, actions, and desires. It helps us determine what we need to change in our life so that we are able to humbly turn to Our Lord, recognizing our wrongdoings and searching for His mercy and love so that we can become the person that God created us to be. Once we realize our faults, we should look deeper into what temptations push us to commit these sins. We must desire to change and really try to, so that we may come to be in paradise with our Lord. To make a confession properly, we must confess the nature and how many times we committed a particular sin since our last confession. We must confess all mortal sins. It is also a good thing to confess any venial sins we might have committed so we may receive sacramental grace to overcome even our smaller faults. Confession gives us a special grace to overcome our sins, brings us back to God and restores our relationship with Him.
The Lord never tires of forgiving!
An Examination of Conscience for Teens
Prepared by the Diocesan Youth Leadership team.
• Do I pray out of my personal relationship with God or out of fear/need?
• Do I put myself or material things before God?
• Do I arrange my life around God or squeeze Him into my life when I can?
• Do I worship idols?
• Do I waste my time?
• Have I denied my faith in front of others?
• Have I mocked or made fun of what the Catholic Church teaches or practices?
• Do I use God’s name out of anger or to swear?
• Do I curse or swear?
• Do I make offensive jokes about God?
• Do I remember to keep Sundays and Holy Days of obligation holy? Do I attend Mass on those days? (Currently there is not an obligation to attend Mass on Sunday, but we are still commanded to keep Sunday holy).
• Do I listen and pay attention during Mass?
• Do I arrive late to Mass or leave early without a good reason?
• Have I made an effort to do good deeds on Sundays?
• Do I keep Sunday as a day of rest? Do I avoid unnecessary work?
• Do I talk back to my parents?
• Do I respect my parents, teachers, elders, grandparents, priests, and those with authority in my life?
• Do I help out around the house even when I don’t want to, or when it is inconvenient for me?
• Do I fight with my siblings? Do I try to make amends?
• Have I broken any rules or laws made by my guardians to protect me?
• Do I tease my siblings?