Examination of Conscience-a Catholic preparation for Confession
Examination of Conscience
These Examination of Conscience reflections relate to each of the Ten Commandments. Each Commandment from Exodus 20 is noted with the verse, then reflected on in the examination.
Verse 2-5a: “I, the Lord, am your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery. You shall not have other gods besides me. You shall not carve idols for yourselves in the shape of anything in the sky above or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth; you shall not bow down before them or worship them. For I, the Lord, your God, am a jealous God…”
Reflection: Have I put other people or things above God in my life or in my heart?
Have I worshiped a loved one, craved the attention of another above God?
Have I put money or possessions ahead of my love for God?
Has anything I have done been something that would cause God to be jealous of my time and attention?
Verse 7: “You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain. For the Lord will not leave unpunished him who takes his name in vain.”
Reflection: Have I take God’s name in vain or used His name in an inappropriate way?
Have I allowed others in my presence to take God’s name in vain without correcting them, especially if they are my children?
Do I treat God’s name, the holy name of Jesus, and the name of the Holy Spirit with love and respect?
Do I say the names of the saints and my fellow brothers and sisters with respect?
Verses 8-11: “Remember to keep holy the sabbath day. Six days you may labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord, your God. No work may be done then either by you, or your son or daughter, or your male or female slave, or your beast, or by the alien who lives with you. In six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord has blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.”
Reflection: Do I go to Mass on every Sunday (or Saturday vigil) and every Holy Day of obligation?
Do I participate in the Mass by praying, singing, and paying attention to the readings and the homily?
Do I get to Mass on time?
Do I avoid unnecessary servile (labor-intensive) work on these days and plan them for other days of the week?
Verse 12: “Honor your father and your mother, that you may have a long life in the land which the Lord, your God, is giving you.”
Reflection: Do I show respect to my Father and Mother? Do I speak with them? Do I do what I can to make sure their needs are met?
If my parents have passed away, do I pray for them?
Do I show respect to my children in the way I treat them? Do I act towards them in a way that is honorable and in a way that will invite or encourage them to show respect to me?
Verse 13: “You shall not kill."
Reflection: Have I killed the spirit of another person with my actions or harsh words?
Have I set a bad example for others that might encourage them to try negative behaviors?
Verse 14:″You shall not commit adultery."
Reflection: Have I kept my thought pure?
Have I shown respect for myself in the way I talk, act, and dress?
Have I watched or read anything that does not show love and respect for one person to another?
Verse 15: “You shall not steal."
Reflection: Have I stolen something from another or from a business?
Have I cheated on any financial transactions?
Have I keep something belonging to another and not returned it?
Have I caused damage to something and not repaired it or paid to have it repaired?
Verse 16: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor."
Reflection: Have I lied about someone?
Have I gossiped or helped to spread false information about someone?
Have I withheld the truth when it would have helped someone?
Verse 17: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male or female slave, nor his ox or ass, nor anything else that belongs to him.”
Reflection: Have I wanted what someone else has to the point that I am consumed with jealous thoughts about it?
Have I wished for another person to not have what they have because I want it for myself?
Have I not shown God gratitude for all the gifts He has given to me?
This Examination of Conscience for Catholics is an original text composed by Mary at Blessed Catholic Mom. All rights reserved. You have permission to use it for personal use, not to make copies or for distribution in any way. Please contact Blessed Catholic Mom if you have any questions.
This Examination of Conscience for Catholics follows the Ten Commandments from Exodus, chapter 20. An examination of Conscience can be done before going to Confession, or each night before going to bed. It is a way for you to evaluate your actions and your thoughts. When you notice that any of your actions, thoughts, or desires are contrary to what God in His love and mercy wants for you, you can share these things with Him, ask Him for forgiveness, and pray an Act of Contrition. God wants us to live according to His commandments for our own happiness, not for His sake. When you strive to do this, you will have greater happiness in life.
You may also like the Prayer Before Confession.
For more Catholic Prayers, you may enjoy any of the following books: Catholic Prayers, Catholic Prayers for All Occasions, Mothers’ Manual prayer book, Fathers’ Manual prayer book, or Catholic Prayer Book for Children.