Examination of Conscience

Christ’s Two Commandments

How well do we love God and others? Do we love as Christ calls us to? In the Gospel of Matthew, Christ gives us Two Commandments: “He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments’” (Mt 22:37-40).

Not sure what love is?

St. Paul describes it for us in his Letter to the Corinthians. Is this how you love God and others? “Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails” (1 Cor 13:4-8).

Ten Commandments

  1. “I am the Lord, thy God, thou shalt not have strange gods before Me.”

Have fame, fortune, money, career, pleasure, etc. replaced God as my highest priority?  Have I neglected my daily prayers?

2. “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.”

Have I committed sacrilege by going to Holy Communion in the state of mortal sin without first going to confession e.g., after missing Mass on Sunday or a Holyday?

3. Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day.

Did I miss Mass on any Sunday or Holyday of Obligation?  Did I do unnecessary work on Sunday which could have been done the day before?  Have I been stingy in my support for the Church?  Do I give of my time & talent?

4. Honour thy Father and Mother.

Parents: Have I set a bad example for my children by casually missing Mass, neglecting prayer?  Have I not expressed my moral values to them?

Children: Have I been disobedient and/or disrespectful to my parents or guardians?  Did I neglect to help them with household chores?  Have I caused them unnecessary worry and anxiety by my attitude, behavior, moods, etc.?

5. Thou shalt not kill.

Did I consent, recommend, advise, approve, support or have an abortion?  Have I committed an act of violence or abuse (physical, sexual, emotional or verbal)?

Do I point out others’ faults and mistakes while ignoring my own?

Do I complain more than I compliment?  Am I ungrateful for what other people do for me?  Do I tear people down rather than encourage them?

6. Thou shalt not commit adultery.

9.Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife.

Did I have any sex before or outside of marriage?  Do I view pornographic material (magazines, videos, internet, hot-lines)?  Did I commit the sins of masturbation and/or artificial contraception?  Have I not avoided the occasions of sin (persons or places) which would tempt me to be unfaithful to my spouse or to my own chastity?  Do I encourage and entertain impure thoughts and desires VII.  Thou shalt not steal.

10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s goods.

Have I stolen any object, committed any shoplifting or cheated anyone of their money?  Did I knowingly deceive someone in business or commit fraud?  Am I greedy or envious of another’s goods?  Do I let financial and material concerns or the desire for comfort override my duty to God, to Church, to my family or my own spiritual well-being?

8. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

Am I a busybody or do I love to spread gossip and secrets about others?   Do I love to hear bad news about my enemies?

Have I told a lie in order to deceive someone?  Have I told the truth with the purpose and intention of ruining someone’s reputation (sin of detraction)?  Have I told a lie or spread rumours which may ruin someone’s reputation (sin of calumny or slander)?