general examination of conscience

What priority do I give my relationship with God/my faith life in comparison with the other priorities in my life? What persons, things or events displace God in my life?


Does Sunday Mass, the Word of God and prayer have significance in my life? Does my use of my time reflect this?


Do I keep holy the Lord’s Day, focusing on going to Mass, avoiding unnecessary work, recognizing the need for relaxation of mind and body and looking for ways to spend time with family or in service to others?


How is my relationship with God?  What amount of time in any given day is spent in conversation with God? What plans do I have or will I make to grow that relationship?


Am I committed to both protecting human life and ensuring that every human being is able to live in dignity? Do I consistently offer to others simple acts of kindness, courtesy and compassion?


Do I recognize the face of Christ in all others around me regardless of their race, class, age or abilities?


Do I incorporate the needs of others, especially the vulnerable in my prayer or is it reserved for only my personal concerns?


Am I honest? Do I lie? Am I worthy of other people’s trust? Have I gossiped or embellished stories at the expense of another? Have I shared other’s faults or shortcomings?


Have I respected the physical and sexual dignity of others and myself? Am I chaste, in my thoughts and actions, according to my state in life? Do I avoid obscene materials, shows or videos?




Have I honored my spouse, with my full affection and exclusive love? Do I tell my spouse frequently that I love him or her?


Do I listen to my family and friends, respectfully reflecting on their words; so as to honor them as gifts from God in my life?


Am I concerned about the spiritual well-being of my family & friends? Do I pay attention to my families concerns, worries, and problems? Do I carry them to God in prayer?


Does my manner of speech reflect a life in relationship with God? Are they words of praise, gratitude, thanksgiving and encouragement? Are they cynical, judgmental or condemning?


Have I abused alcohol or other drugs? Has my use of alcohol or drugs caused concern in others, a spouse, a child, a friend?


Do I behave and speak in a way that brings respect and dignity to the significant people in my life: parents, children, family, friends or co-workers?


With regard to the material possessions I have acquired, do they serve only me and my family or do they also serve the poor? Where will my possessions go when I die?


Does the way I spend my time and money reflect a genuine concern for others, especially the poor, the suffering, the outcast?


Am I content with my own means and needs or am I envious of others, constantly comparing myself with others?


Where do I need to ask God for forgiveness/healing?        

Where do I need to forgive or be a source of healing?






A Step-by-Step Guide to Confession

1. Confession begins with the Sign of the Cross and the penitent greeting the priest with the words: “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.  My last confession was _____ (weeks, months, years) ago”.


2. The penitent confesses sins to the priest, who stands in the name of Christ and the Church “The sins I have committed are (briefly confess your sins and number of times committed)”. If you are unsure or uneasy, ask the priest for help and place your trust in God.


When you have confessed all your sins say: “For these, all my sins, and the sins I have forgotten, I am truly sorry”


3. The priest will assign you a penance which takes into account your personal situation and supports your spiritual good.  It DOES NOT make up for your sin, but rather, is a sign to God that you understand how to move forward in a “holy manner”. It may be a prayer, an offering, works of mercy, sacrifice, or service.


5. Pray the Act of Contrition:

“My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against you whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for me; in His name, my God, have mercy.”


6.  The priest, acting in the person of Christ, will absolve you from your sins by saying the prayer of Absolution.  As the prayer is ending, the penitent makes the Sign of the Cross and responds “Amen”.

act of contrition

O, my God, I am sorry for all my sins.  In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have offended you who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly intend, with the help of your grace, to confess my sins, to penance and to amend my life. Our savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us, in His name, my God, have mercy.  

Section Title

Type the content for this section here. This is just example text to show you what it will look like when you enter text content into this section. Your unique, authentic, and appropriate text will be filled into this section. Once you click into this section, you will see the filler text disappear, and you can begin typing your real content. We’ve simply put in filler text in this area.