An examination of conscience especially pertinent to teenagers.
1. You shall have no other gods besides the Lord your God.
- Do I love God above all things?
- Is He number one in my life or do I put myself before God?
- Has money and pleasure become more important to me than the God who created me for Himself?
- Do I pray often? Have I neglected my friendship with God by neglecting prayer?
- Have I been involved with occult or superstitious practices, i.e., fortune telling?
- Have I ever received Holy Communion in the state of mortal sin?
- 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.
- Have I ever committed perjury, that is, lied under oath in a court of law?
- Have I ever lied after "swearing to God" that I am telling the truth?
- Have I ever used God's name out of anger, that is, as a curse?
3. Keep the Sabbath day holy.
- Have I deliberately missed Holy Mass on the Sabbath (Saturday evening through Sunday)?
- 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.
- Do I disobey my parents?
- Do I fail to respect them?
- Do I swear at them?
- Am I ashamed of them?
- Do I let them know I love them?
- Do I lie to them?
- Do I steal from them?
- Am I obeying and honouring those in place of my parents, such as teachers and principals?
- Do I skip class?
- Do I lie to my teachers?
- Do I swear at them?
5. You shall not kill.
- Am I killing myself by taking illegal drugs, such as marijuana?
- Abusing alcohol?
- Have I had an abortion?
- Have I ever counselled anyone to have an abortion?
- Do I stand up for the unborn child's right to life, or have I merely accepted society's anti-life mentality?
- Have I used abortifacient contraceptives or encouraged anyone to do so?
- Have I sterilized myself in any way or encouraged anyone to do so?
- Did I participate in or approve of euthanasia or "mercy-killing"?
- Have I murdered anyone's reputation by deliberately spreading rumours or keeping rumours alive by passing them on?
- Do I nurse anger against anyone?
- Hold a grudge?
- Refuse to forgive another?
- Have I cursed anyone?
6. You shall not commit adultery.
- Have I ever had sex with anyone?
- Have I had sex with myself?
- Have I ever watched pornography either on the Internet or through some other media?
- Have I ever freely and deliberately entertained impure thoughts?
- Have I practiced any form of contraception?
- Am I modest in dress?
7. You shall not steal.
- Do I steal from my parents?
- Do I steal from friends?
- Have I ever stolen from a stranger?
- Have I stolen any property from a store?
- In other words, have I ever taken what rightfully belongs to another?
- Do I gamble excessively?
- Do I seek to share what I have with the poor and needy?
8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.
- Am I a liar?
- Am I guilty of detraction, that is, making known the faults of others?
- Am I guilty of slander, that is, spreading lies about someone?
- Do I gossip about others?
- Do I reveal information that should be confidential?
- 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.
- Am I envious of others?
- Do I wish that others be deprived of the goods or talents that are theirs?
- Am I jealous of others?
- Do I harbour unforgiveness and grudges against others?
- Am I a resentful person?
- 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
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.
Doug 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. Deacon Douglas studied Philosophy at St. Jerome's College in Waterloo, and Theology at the University of Montreal. He is the author of Christ Lives!, The Logic of Anger, 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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