Examination of Conscience

An Examination of Conscience is helpful in preparing for confessing one’s sins in the sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. It helps one to reflect over several areas of one’s life and what he or she has done and if he or she has offended God in any way. We hope you find this as useful as we do when preparing for confession.

  1. There are often times, Lord, where I fail to love you above all else. I create images of gods I prefer in place of you. I do not try to learn more about my faith and I do not pray as often as I should. I fail to be attentive at Mass. I do not observe Friday as a special day of penance. Lord, be kind to me and show mercy.
  2. Sometimes, Lord, I take your name to my lips in a disrespectful manner. I fail to show you the proper respect in the daily use of your great gift of speech which you have blessed me with. I sometimes show disrespect to your Church and to the saints who so nobly did your will. Lord, be kind to me and show mercy.
  3. Lord, there are times that I miss Mass through my own fault on Sundays and Holy Days. I sometimes forget your desire to keep this special day holy by doing unnecessary work. I sometimes fail to fast for one hour before communion. Lord, be kind to me and show mercy.
  4. We each have obligations in life. Sometimes, Lord, I fail with respect to those obligations with which you have presented me. I am to obey those in legitimate authority and yet I find myself in so many cases seeking my own will. I disobey parents or those in authority over me.
    Lord, be kind to me and show mercy.
  5. I have no trouble seeing abortion as an evil, Lord, but somehow I don’t really do all that I can to prevent this evil. I know of people who seek abortions, and I sit back in silence, or maybe I just have the courage to say, “I don’t believe in that,” but, I do no more. Sometimes I fail to see the killing I do every day in my anger, in my lack of cooperation in my family and in my parish. I could bring life to those around me, yet so many times because of my selfishness and unwillingness to be involved to a greater extent, I really bring death.Lord, be kind to me and show mercy.
  6. You gave us the beautiful gift of our human sexuality and sometimes, Lord, I fail to reflect the beauty by my speech and actions.Adultery is more than just infidelity to my husband or wife, It is an infidelity to myself and to your creation. Masturbation is a seeking of my own pleasure, a selfishness which eats away at my ability to deny myself and be more closely united with you on the cross. Sex before marriage is a destruction of family life, it makes love only a physical thing absent of your will for us in our life. It is certainly not giving your life to the one I love. I fool myself too often thinking that movies, magazines, speech and TV that advocate the pleasures of sex are really reflective of your will for us.They do not reflect the holiness of human sexuality, they reflect our selfish appetites. The music we sing, the clothes we wear, the manner in which I dress, all must be reflective of the holiness of human sexuality and the sacredness of married life, yet many times I fail.Lord, be kind to me and show mercy.
  7. I know there are times that I reap and do not sow. I take what I am not entitled to. I spend too much time away from my job doing things for myself. I am not always honest about giving an honest day’s work. I borrow and do not pay back. I seek the goods of this life more for myself than for others. I cheat in all sorts of ways. I am destructive of the property of others. I am greedy and refuse to share. I too often find myself selfishly seeking what others have.Lord, be kind to me and show mercy.
  8. Lord, there are times that I use the gift of speech that you have given me to be destructive of others. I destroy the reputation of others, I try to get others to dislike those I dislike. I speak falsely about others, but there are also times where I tell the truth about others so that everyone can know their faults. I have not yet learned to control my tongue. My first act is not to praise you, but to praise myself. When I cut someone else down I am only doing so to praise myself. Oh, my human weakness. Lord, be kind to me and show mercy.
  9. You give us, Lord, the gift of wine to gladden man’s heart. You give us medicine to help us get well. How many times do I abuse these gifts? How many times do I use these God given things to destroy myself and others?Lord, be kind to me and show mercy.
  10. Lord, you teach us to be charitible and thoughtful of others needs. How many times do I fail because I am only thinking of myself? I do not support my church as much as I should, not only in financial ways, but also in the more difficult ways of time and energy. I do not really think of the needs of others because I am too stuck up in the world of self seeking. I think only of the now, not the future. I can be a patient and forgiving father if only I can see tomorrow. I can be a tender and reflective mother only if I realize that this is necessary for the future. How can I study every day if it is not for the wisdom to someday be able to help others? I fail in my responsibilities and because of this I sin and thus separate myself from you and worse yet, Lord, I keep fooling myself.Lord, be kind to me and show mercy.


  1. robi says

    I am in desperation. My father died when I was 3, my grandparents when I was 18,my mother when I was 22, my only brother 11 years ago when I was 48. I have 1 sister. My beloved husband of 32 years and savior died 7 months ago. I am alone and strayed from my catholic upbringing since my mother died which be 37 years. My husband was also a catholic who lost 2 if his sons from his first marriage violently. He always believed like myself but somehow we never went back to church. He had a miraculous lung transplant 9 hears before he died. I have so much sorrow, shame and guilt I am raedy to die. I want to go to confession but don’t even seem to know how to converse properly anymore and for sure not know any of the ways of the church. HELP

    • Pam says

      Just walk through the door of His mercy and grace. God will help you in your journey home. The priest will give you everything you need to come back to the church. He does not expect you to know everything. Welcome home

  2. mary says

    Jon, Thank you so much for sharing simply. It has helped me tremendously. I will print this page and use it as a guide when I go to Confession for the first time since 1970. My alcoholic father, whom I loved, took his life. I strayed away from the church. I lived promiscuous, failed in 3 marriages, and my only child is living a homosexual lifestyle. Altho I had been in attendance in a great faith since 1981 where I learned the word of God and learned how to live out a godly life, (better than what I alone was capable of), I can see by this examination of conscience how desparately I need the Sacrament of Confession, I need to ask the Church for forgiveness and I need to put my trust in Jesus to show me what more I can do to serve Him. I will be received back into the Church this Easter! I am so very blessed!

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