In preparation for the Sacrament of Penance, it is important to prepare our minds and hearts.  This is done by examining our conscience, looking at our lives and seeing how we live up to the 10 Commandments and the teachings of the Church.

It is a good idea to call upon the Holy Spirit in prayer and ask His guidance as you prepare to make a good Confession.

An Examination of Conscience

Many of these sins are mortal and the Eucharist is forbidden until a good confession is made to a priest. If in doubt whether a sin is mortal or venial, consult a good catechism or priest very loyal to the Holy Father and Rome’s teachings. A mortal sin involves a serious matter, there is sufficient reflection and it is committed with full consent of the will.

  • Did I deny or doubt God’s existence? Did I refuse to believe God’s revelation?
  • Did I believe in horoscopes, fortune telling, dreams, good luck charms or reincarnation?
  • Did I deny that I was a Catholic? Did I leave the Catholic faith?
  • Did I despair of or presume on God’s mercy?
  • Did I neglect prayer for a long time? Did I fail to pray daily?
  • Did I blaspheme God or take God’s name in vain, curse or break an oath or vow?
  • Did I miss Mass on Sunday or Holyday of Obligation through my own fault?
  • Am I always reverent in the presence of the most Blessed Sacrament?
  • Was I inattentive at Mass? Did I come to Mass late? How late? Did I leave Mass early?
  • Did I do unnecessary physical work on Sunday?
  • Did I disobey or disrespect my parents or legitimate superiors?
  • Did I neglect my duties to my husband, wife, children, or parents’
  • Did I fail to actively take an interest in the religious education and formation of my children?
  • Have I failed to educate myself on the true teachings of the Church?
  • Did I give a full day’s work in return for my full day’s pay?
  • Did I give scandal by what I said or did, especially to the young? Was I the cause of anyone leaving the faith?
  • Did I give a fair wage to my employee?
  • Was I impatient, angry, envious, unkind, proud, jealous, revengeful, hateful toward others, lazy?
  • Did I give bad example, abuse drugs, drink alcohol to excess, fight or quarrel?
  • Did I physically injure or kill anyone? Have or advise for an abortion? Regarding abortion, check your priest to see if you were automatically excommunicated and this has to be lifted first.
  • Did I participate in or approve of the grave evil known as “mercy killing”? Did I attempt suicide?
  • Did I willfully entertain impure thoughts and desires? Did I dress immodestly?
  • Did I use impure or suggestive words? Tell impure stories? Or listen to them?
  • Did I deliberately look at impure TV, plays, pictures or movies? Or deliberately read impure material?
  • Did I perform impure acts by myself or with others? Which ones?
  • Note: in the area of deliberate sexual sins, all are mortal if there is sufficient reflection and full consent of the will.
  • Did I marry or advise another to marry outside the Church?
  • Did I abuse my marriage rights? Was I unfaithful to my marriage vows?
  • Have kept company with someone else’s spouse?
  • Did I practice artificial birth control or was I or my spouse sterilized?
  • Did I steal, cheat, help or encourage others to steal, or keep stolen goods? Have I made restitution for stolen goods?
  • Did I fulfill my contracts; give or accept bribes; pay my bills; rashly gamble or speculate; deprive my family of necessities of life?
  • Did I tell lies? Deliberately to deceive; or injure others by lies? Did I commit perjury? Was I uncharitable in word or deed, gossip or reveal others faults and sins? Fail to keep secrets I should have?
  • Did I eat meat on the Fridays of Lent or Ash Wednesday?
  • Did I fast as required on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday?
  • Did I fail to receive Holy Communion during the Easter time? Fail to confess at least once a year?
  • Did I go to Holy Communion in the state of mortal sin? Without fasting (water and medicine permitted) for one hour or more from food and drink?
  • Did I make a bad confession?
  • Did I fail to contribute to the support of the Church?


1. Examine your conscience.

2. Be sincerely sorry for your sins.

3. Confess your sins.

4. Resolve to amend your life.

5. After your confession do the penance the priest assigns.

If you need help on how to go to Confession, click this link.


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