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?
• Do I respect my parents’ decisions and opinions?
• Do I try to communicate clearly and respectfully with my parents or guardians?
• Have I physically harmed anyone?
• Do I respect all God’s people even if they are different from me?
• Am I kind and respectful to everyone I meet?
• Have I killed anyone?
• Have I used my words and actions to build people up or tear them down?
• Do I misuse drugs, tobacco, or alcohol?
• Do I take care of myself physically, mentally, and spiritually?
• Do I cause physical damage to my body?
• Do I see myself as beautiful and created in the image and likeness of God?
• Do I control my temper?
• Do I see all life as precious and sacred, even the unborn?
• Have I made fun of others behind their backs?
• Have I told myself lies or discouraging things?
• Have I tempted someone to do something that I knew was wrong?
• Have I sought to take revenge against another person?
• Have I been guilty of the sin of racism?
• Do I use crude language and jokes?
• Do I use people for my own physical or emotional pleasure?
• Do I disrespect my sexuality or other’s?
• Am I rude towards others?
• Do I look at pornography or read/watch books or shows that are disrespectful of our God-given dignity?
• Do I see sex as a gift from God that should be saved until marriage?
• Do I listen to impure music?
• Do I steal things that don’t belong to me?
• Have I damaged anything that was not mine without fixing it or repaying the owner?
• Do I return things that I have borrowed in the same or better condition than I borrowed it?
• Do I share my gifts, talents, and possessions with others?
• Do I finish assignments on time and with my best effort?
• Do I strive to do my best or do I settle with choices that are half-hearted?
• Am I humble when I win? Do I have good sportsmanship?
• Have I cheated on my homework, tests, or assignments?
• Am I wasteful with the earth’s resources that God gave us?
• Do I use the gifts God gave me to help others?
• Do I gossip or spread rumors?
• Have I ruined someone’s reputation by spreading lies or embarrassing things about them?
• Have I lied?
• Do I hide or stretch the truth?
• Am I open to the truth and willing to seek the truth?
• Do I blame others for things they haven’t done?
• Do I falsely accuse others?
• Do I blame God for sufferings or bad things?
• Have I had or welcomed impure thoughts, and desires, or looked at others lustfully?
• Do I stalk others or pry into their private lives?
• Do I flirt or cheat with others and play with their feelings?
• Do I make decisions to be popular or to fit in?
• Do I envy what others have?
• Do I always have to have the newest/trendiest thing?
• Have I been overly concerned about my looks or what other people think of me?
• Do I take care of the people around me, especially the poor, hungry, thirsty, sick, etc.?
• Am I jealous of others whether it’s their looks, material things, or talents, etc.?
Act of Contrition
My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against you whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. In his name, my God, have mercy.