Examination of Conscience


Gailestingumas 61 A

Confession consists of:
  • Careful examination of conscience
  • Pity
  • Determination to reconcile
  • Performing the assigned penance

The examination of conscience should be done carefully, but it will never be fully completed. One who confesses sin only with his lips, without sincere mercy, will not be forgiven. It is also necessary to be determined not to commit that sin in the future. The sinner must admit to the shortcoming to the priest, hence confessing it. Finally, confession includes the penance or repentance that a priest assigns to the person to reverse the damage done by sin.

The course of confession: Approach the priest, make the sign of the cross, and say, “Glory be to Jesus Christ.” The priest replies, “Forever. Amen ”. Then you will tell when your last confession, you state whether or not you received absolution, and you then list your sin. Sins must be confessed openly, without concealing anything, for otherwise confession will be blasphemous. The priest is obliged to keep the secret of confession. The repentant then says, “I do not remember any more sins, I regret and promise to be repented, I ask for repentance and deliverance.”

The priest assigned penance, which is not only a symbolic justification for the sins committed, but also an aid to a new spiritual life. The priest invites one to repent for one’s sins and says the prayer of deliverance: “God, the Father of mercy …” In the end, the priest blesses the repentant, who makes the sign of the cross and replies, “Thanks be to God.”

The repentant then performs the assigned penance, determined to avoid sin, and seeks to redress the wrong done to another. (According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church and “Youcat”)

Examination of Conscience

Sometimes in life we lose things, and we turn over the entire house upside down, yielding no result. Ironically, we discover that said object has always been lying right in front of our noses … Sometimes this is also the case with sins that we do not immediately find, even though they are hidden right in plain sight. I didn’t kill anything, I didn’t steal anything – so I have no sins … Or maybe I’ve killed another with my words, indifference, jealousy, anger. Perhaps I steal happiness, trust, joy, peace, hope from others … Let’s look openly at our conscience and life:

  • In a previous confession I have forgotten or deliberately failed to say grave sins.
  • I did not repay the wrongs I had committed
  • I don’t trust God
  • I am not invested in my faith
  • I’m afraid to show up or say I’m a theist
  • I do not pray in the morning, nor the evening
  • My prayer is insincere
  • I do not thank the Lord for the graces given
  • Without reverence or through anger I used the names of God, Jesus, or Mary in vain
  • I believed or even engaged in spells and superstitions
  • I would not celebrate Sundays and compulsory holidays, I did not attend Holy Mass
  • I do not listen to my parents and teachers, I do not respect them
  • I do not help my parents, I do not love my neighbor
  • I despised, mocked, humiliated, insulted, nicknamed
  • I beat or exploited my friends
  • I have harbored hatred towards others
  • I enjoyed doing bad
  • I did not defend the abused
  • I did not help those in need, I wished evil upon people
  • I lied
  • My shortcomings have hurt others
  • I gossiped or told without warrant the weaknesses of others
  • I promoted malice against my peers
  • I have spread secrets entrusted to me
  • I misappropriated a foreign thing
  • I did damage to another person’s belongings
  • I rejoiced in the calamity of another
  • I did not try to forgive and reconcile
  • I do not perform my duties
  • I waste time, I often spend it in vain
  • I had unchaste thoughts, feelings, actions
  • I listened to/engaged in obscene language, obscene jokes
  • I partook in unchaste images
  • I contributed to an abortion, did it, or encouraged others to do so
  • I encouraged others to sin
  • I abused alcohol/ drugs
  • I have harmed myself life
  • I am envious
  • I was proud in front of others
  • I cannot suppress my desires and lusts
  • I overeat
  • I celebrated inappropriately during times of fast (Advent/Lent)
  • I don’t fast
  • I do not pray for my living and dead loved ones
  • I do not try to abstain from sin

Common obstacles to make a confession

But I have no desire to make a confession. Of course, there can be little to no motivation, but the more a person needs confession, the more persistently one has to strive to overcome himself and the shame for the sins he has committed. Confession is needed so that we no longer carry our mistakes as a heavy burden.

I confess my sins directly to God, I don’t need a priest. To make sure God truly forgives, we need a sign that He gives. That sign is the sacrament of Reconciliation, which the priest who performs the sacrament is a visible instrument of God’s forgiveness. The priest himself has no power to forgive sins. The resurrected Jesus said to the apostles, “22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.” (Jn 20:23), giving some power to some people.

I constantly commit the same sins. Avoiding confession will definitely make it even more difficult. The grace gained through confession not only removes sins, but also enlightens our minds and gives us strength to fight sin and strive to make our lives better and more beautiful. The struggle itself is moving forward (According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church).