Examination of Conscience
There is a sin every time we turn away from God by not respecting His commandments of love. Sin is serious when we are fully conscious of turning away from Him; otherwise, it is a venial sin. There are three conditions for a sin to be serious.
- What is being done must be serious.
- We must know it is serious.
- We must do it voluntarily (or not do it when we should be doing it).
I – I am the Lord your God; you shall not have strange Gods before me.
- Neglect prayer (especially morning and evening prayer).
- Neglect the sacraments of Confession and the Eucharist.
- Not to try to recollect oneself in times of prayer.
- Disturb others during prayer time or during the celebration of Mass.
- Make sacrilegious Confessions or Communions.
- Voluntarily have doubts about the faith.
- Putting one’s faith in jeopardy by hanging around with bad friends.
- Putting one’s faith in jeopardy by looking at or listening to things which are opposed to the faith and the love of God.
- Not affirming one’s faith out of a fear of what people will say, in order not to look bad.
- Neglect the life of one’s soul.
- Submit to superstitions.
- Engage in spiritism.
- Neglect one’s spiritual reading.
- Display vanity (vain indulgence in oneself).
- Listen to satanic music or what is similar to it, or listen to music whose words encourage disobedience, revolt, carelessness or laxity, or any other thing which is contrary to the virtues.
- Not to take the time to thank God (for one’s parents, one’s friends, for food…)
- Not to make sacrifices for one’s own good and for the conversion of sinners.
- To think only of one’s own personal interests.
- Be lazy.
- Not get up right away in the morning.
- Not do one’s homework right away.
- Spend too much time in front of a phone, a computer, the television...
- Miss catechism classes by one’s own fault.
- Not to take the necessary means to live well one’s faith and the commitments it involves.
- Not to try to discover God’s will in the important decisions we have to make.
- Refuse to humbly accept God’s will as it is made known to us through the events in our life.
II – You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
- Improperly using the name of God or of sacred things.
- Blaspheming (saying insulting or offending words against God or the saints).
- Not fulfilling the promises or commitments made to God.
- Making an oath without necessity.
III – Remember to keep holy the Lord’s day.
- Not taking advantage of Sunday to draw closer to God and to those close to us by devoting some time to them, and doing so for a selfish reason such as working when this isn’t necessary.
- Missing Mass on Sunday without a good reason to do so.
- Not taking advantage of Sunday to rest, so as to be able to do the duties of our state well during the week.
IV – Honor your father and your mother.
- Not showing love towards one’s parents.
- Lacking respect towards them.
- Not obeying them.
- Not being attentive to their needs.
- Not praying for them during their life here below or once they are in the hereafter.
- Being mean to or spurning one’s parents or being mean towards one’s brothers and sisters, being indifferent to them or wishing that some misfortune befall them.
- Refusing to render service or help with the household tasks.
- Not assisting one’s sick parents.
- Not being submissive or respectful towards one’s superiors (ex: a priest, an employer…)
- Criticizing (being temperamental or capricious).
For the parents:
- Not applying oneself to raising one’s children well.
- Not trying to be well informed so as to be more successful in the delicate task of raising the children.
- Selfishly withdrawing into oneself; not forgetting oneself enough in order to set a good example or to encourage.
- Neglect to give the children a Christian formation, as well as see to their religious practice.
- Not to watch over the children enough, not to have time for them, not to give them the proper care, be available for them or give them the advice or corrections required.
- Being harsh, too stern.
V – You shall not kill.
- Commit a murder, a suicide, to attempt to commit murder or suicide, have recourse to euthanasia, to in-vitro fecundation, to abortion or to push someone to do these things.
- Wish something bad on someone or wish his death; to hate.
- Acts of revenge, blows, violence.
- Neglect one’s health, eating well, or doing exercise.
- Abuse alcohol.
- Use drugs.
- Mutilate oneself (or someone else).
- Have recourse to sterilization or to a sexual re-attribution.
- To insult, show contempt or scorn, calumniate, speak ill of someone.
- Make fun of our neighbor, laugh at him.
- Refuse to forgive, continue to harbour rancour.
- Be indifferent with regard to the sorrow or suffering of others.
- Playing violent games (NB: also violent video games).
- Listen to music in which the words encourage violence.
- Scandalize others through a bad example, through one’s words or advice, or through silent approval.
- Talk behind other peoples’ back.
- Hurtful words.
- Cause animals to suffer out of meanness or without necessity.
- Not trying to eat a balanced diet so as to foster good health.
- Become angry.
- Make someone unhappy because of one’s bad temperament.
- Act in such a way as to arouse anger in someone else.
- Not being prudent on the highways (speeding or other things).
VI – You shall not commit adultery.
- Lack purity in our thoughts, our gazes, our gestures or our words.
- Being indecent in our manner of dressing, in our words or our attitudes.
- Look at indecent pictures on electronic devices (videos, pictures…), in the newspapers, shows or dances.
- Listen to music, the words or melody of which are sensual.
- Touching or making gestures which are indecent.
- Making gestures that lead us to sin.
- Any sexual act outside marriage between a man and a woman and where there is openness to fertility.
- Place oneself in circumstances which could lead to sin (friends, dating…)
- Using contraceptives.
- Being adulterous (10th commandment also).
- To remarry in a civil ceremony.
- Lack respect towards one’s spouse.
- Unjustly refuse the other spouse’s rights.
- Not to show enough affection to one’s spouse, to forget to express one’s love to one’s spouse.
- Lack thoughtfulness, openness, attentiveness towards or dialogue with one’s spouse.
VII – You shall not steal.
- Borrowing something and never returning it.
- Badly doing one’s work.
- Neglect to be careful with or look after the things which don’t belong to us.
- Botch or do a bad job of one’s work.
- Not to pay what had been promised.
- Buy something we know has been stolen.
- Not to try to return a lost object to its owner.
- Cause unjust damage to a neighbor’s possessions.
- To defraud or cheat; use underhanded schemes in one’s work, business or in contracts…
- Not to pay back one’s debts.
- Not to pay a salary or pay one that is insufficient.
- Damage the goods of the city or state.
- Not make reparation for damages caused.
- To waste.
- Give the bad example of dishonesty to our brothers and sisters, at school, or to colleagues at work.
VIII – You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
- Lying, bearing false witness. (In court, if we swear under oath before God; that’s even more serious!)
- Accuse unjustly or exaggerate.
- Make rash judgments (in thought or word which disadvantages the neighbor, based on a faint suspicion).
- Violate secrecy (confession, professional secret, confidences…)
- Be hypocritical.
- Not to keep one’s promises.
- Refuse to admit the truth.
IX – You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.
- Entertain thoughts or desires which are opposed to the virtue of purity.
X – You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.
- Be jealous or envious (be saddened by what our neighbor has or owns).
- Attachment to earthly possessions: avarice or miserliness.
- Excessively accumulate riches or wealth; scorn the poor and not come to their aid.