EXAMINATION OF CONSCIENCE
By V. Rev. Dr. Matthew Searfoorce
Prior to Confession each penitent should prepare with the following steps:
- Examine your conscience using the guide below.
- Be sincerely sorry for your sins.
- Look at your sins as against your whole life and look for patterns that cause you to sin. Make a positive change to amend this pattern.
- Confess your sins.
Guide for the Examination of Conscience
Don’t be hasty. Don’t be superficial Avoid Anxiety.
Have I come to Confession or Communion without properly preparing myself?
Have I believed in God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit?
Have I failed to trust in God and His mercy?
Have I complained against God when things did not go the way would have liked them to go?
Have I been thankful for God’s Blessings?
Have I been overly attached to material things?
Have I been stingy, greedy, or a lover of money?
Have I not given to Church according to my ability?
Have I taken the time to pray and read scripture regularly?
Do I doubt God’s existence?
Do I fast as I am required?
Did I ever wish I were dead?
Have I failed to pray to God faithfully?
Have I made an idol of any person or thing?
Have I been inattentive during Church services?
Have I stayed away from Church without good reason?
Have I been late to Church or left early without good reason?
Have I failed to give proper reverence to Holy Persons and things?
Did I avoid going to Confession and Communion out of laziness or because it is difficult for me?
Have I stayed up late on Saturday nights and came to Church tired?
Have I only come to Church on Sundays and avoided Holydays and Saturdays?
Have I misused the name of God in any way?
Have I cursed anyone or anything?
Have I done unnecessary work on Sundays? Have I kept the fasts of the Church?
Have I respected my parents and been obedient to them?
Have I neglected my family and failed to help them when they have asked?
Have I set my children (my brothers and sisters) a good example?
Have I corrected others’ faults with anger and impatience?
Have I fairly treated others around me? Have I wished anyone dead?
Have I given way to anger and harmed others with words or actions? ,
Have I led others to commit sinful acts?
Have I mistreated animals?
Have I failed to forgive anyone or harbored evil thoughts against them?
Have I gotten mixed up in others’ lives, work, or family, or caused arguments or fights?
Did I pass judgment on the actions, deeds, mistakes, or shortcomings of others?
Do I have a strong dislike towards someone?
Have I not forgiven someone for their treatment of you?
Have I been conceited?
Have I enjoyed showing off my clothes, wealth, success etc.?
Do I insist on being praised and become hurt when I don’t get enough attention?
Am I stubborn, obstinate, egotistical, proud and self -centered? (Pay attention to these sins because it is difficult to get rid of them.)
If you are a parent, do you raise your children in the “way of the Lord?”
Have I committed any unworthy actions alone or with others?
Have I bought or read immoral books or movies?
Have I been overly interested in obscenity?
Have I eaten, or smoked too much?
Have I been lazy, idle or wasted my time?
Have I been unfaithful to any trust confided in me?
Have I stolen anything or wished to do so?
Have I kept anything that did not belong to me?
Have I cheated anyone?
Have I given to charitable causes in proportion to my means?
Have I been honest?
Have I told lies, or added or subtracted from the truth?
Have I made careless statements or spoken evil of anyone?
Have I told any secrets entrusted to me?
Have I tried to see the good in others rather than their shortcomings?
Have I been jealous of anther’s good fortune?
Have damaged or destroyed the property of others?
Have I been discontented with what God has given me?
Have I hoped for the downfall of another so that I might gain from it?
Have I failed to be gracious and generous to anyone?
Have I insisted in doing only the minimum in what the Church required of me?
When it is time to go to the Priest for confession, go up analoy and venerate the Gospel and Cross on the table or analoy.
( If it is the practice of your parish recite the following prayer: )
“I, a sinner, confess to the Lord God, Almighty.
One in the Holy Trinity;
to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God;
to all the saints;
and to you, my Father confessor, All my sins”
Then speak your sins remembering that you are confessing to Christ in the presence of His Priest.
Don’t use words like “sometimes:” “once in a while” “but only” – be honest and relate your sins.
Don’t tell the Priest about your good points – this is not the time for this.