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Examination of Conscience — for teenagers


An examination of conscience especially pertinent to teenagers.


1. You shall have no other gods besides the Lord your God.

cross1.jpg  Do I love God above all things? Is He number one
    in my life or do I put myself before God?
cross1.jpg  Has money and pleasure become more important to
    me than the God who created me for Himself?
cross1.jpg  Do I pray often? Have I neglected my friendship with
    God by neglecting prayer?
cross1.jpg  Have I been involved with occult or superstitious
    practices, i.e., fortune telling?
cross1.jpg  Have I ever received Holy Communion in the state of
    mortal sin?
cross1.jpg  Have I told a lie in confession or deliberately
    withheld confessing a mortal sin?

2. You shall not take the Lord your God's name in vain.

cross1.jpg  Have I ever committed perjury, that is, lied under oath in a court of law?
cross1.jpg  Have I ever lied after "swearing to God" that I am telling the truth?
cross1.jpg  Have I ever used God's name out of anger, that is, as a curse?

3. Keep the Sabbath day holy.

cross1.jpg  Have I deliberately missed Holy Mass on the Sabbath (Saturday evening through
cross1.jpg  Have I ever missed Mass on a Holy Day of Obligation or an important holiday in
    the liturgical calendar (i.e., Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday,
    Christmas, Mary the Mother of God, etc.)?

4. Honour your father and your mother so that you may live long and flourish.

cross1.jpg  Do I disobey my parents?
cross1.jpg  Do I fail to respect them?
cross1.jpg  Do I swear at them?
cross1.jpg  Am I ashamed of them?
cross1.jpg  Do I let them know I love them?
cross1.jpg  Do I lie to them?
cross1.jpg  Do I steal from them?
cross1.jpg  Am I obeying and honouring those in place of my parents, such as teachers and
cross1.jpg  Do I skip class?
cross1.jpg  Do I lie to my teachers?
cross1.jpg  Do I swear at them?

5. You shall not kill.

cross1.jpg  Am I killing myself by taking illegal drugs, such as marijuana?
cross1.jpg  Abusing alcohol?
cross1.jpg  Have I had an abortion?
cross1.jpg  Have I ever counselled anyone to have an abortion?
cross1.jpg  Do I stand up for the unborn child's right to life, or have I merely accepted
    society's anti-life mentality?
cross1.jpg  Have I used abortifacient contraceptives or encouraged anyone to do so?
cross1.jpg  Have I sterilized myself in any way or encouraged anyone to do so?
cross1.jpg  Did I participate in or approve of euthanasia or "mercy-killing"?
cross1.jpg  Have I murdered anyone's reputation by deliberately spreading rumours or
    keeping rumours alive by passing them on?
cross1.jpg  Do I nurse anger against anyone?
cross1.jpg  Hold a grudge?
cross1.jpg  Refuse to forgive another?
cross1.jpg  Have I cursed anyone?

6. You shall not commit adultery.

cross1.jpg  Have I ever had sex with anyone?
cross1.jpg  Have I had sex with myself?
cross1.jpg  Have I ever watched pornography either on the Internet or through some other
cross1.jpg  Have I ever freely and deliberately entertained impure thoughts?
cross1.jpg  Have I practiced any form of contraception?
cross1.jpg  Am I modest in dress?

7. You shall not steal.

cross1.jpg  Do I steal from my parents?
cross1.jpg  Do I steal from friends?
cross1.jpg  Have I ever stolen from a stranger?
cross1.jpg  Have I stolen any property from a store?
cross1.jpg  In other words, have I ever taken what rightfully belongs to another?
cross1.jpg  Do I gamble excessively?
cross1.jpg  Do I seek to share what I have with the poor and needy?

8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.

cross1.jpg  Am I a liar?
cross1.jpg  Am I guilty of detraction, that is, making known the faults of others?
cross1.jpg  Am I guilty of slander, that is, spreading lies about someone?
cross1.jpg  Do I gossip about others?
cross1.jpg  Do I reveal information that should be confidential?
cross1.jpg  Am I "two-faced", that is, have I been a certain kind of person to some people,
    but a completely different kind of person to others?

9. & 10. You shall not envy your neighbour's wife and goods.

cross1.jpg  Am I envious of others?
cross1.jpg  Do I wish that others be deprived of the goods or talents that are theirs?
cross1.jpg  Am I jealous of others?
cross1.jpg  Do I harbour unforgiveness and grudges against others?
cross1.jpg  Am I a resentful person?
cross1.jpg  Do I put down others?

Traditional way of going to confession:

"Bless me Father, for I have sinned. It's been _________ (weeks, months,
  years) since my last confession. I accuse myself of......................

* If you have any difficulty, ask the priest to help you out. He will be happy to
    do so.

Act of Contrition

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended You, and I detest all my sins, because of Your just punishments, but most of all because they offend You, my God, Who are all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly intend, with your help, to sin no more and to avoid whatever leads me to sin.



Deacon Douglas McManaman. "Examination of Conscience – for teenagers." CERC (April 2010).

Printed with permission of Deacon Douglas McManaman.

The Author

mcmanamanwbasmMcManamanaDoug McManaman is a Deacon and a Religion and Philosophy teacher at Father Michael McGivney Catholic Academy in Markham, Ontario, Canada. He is the past president of the Canadian Fellowship of Catholic Scholars. He maintains the following web site for his students: A Catholic Philosophy and Theology Resource Page. Deacon Douglas studied Philosophy at St. Jerome's College in Waterloo, and Theology at the University of Montreal. He is the author of Why Be Afraid?, Basic Catholicism, Introduction to Philosophy for Young People, and A Treatise on the Four Cardinal Virtues. Deacon McManaman is on the advisory board of the Catholic Education Resource Center.

Copyright © 2010 Deacon Douglas McManaman
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