December 29, 2000
volume 11, no. 277


Sister Lucy's GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER column for December 29, 2000

Acute awareness in examining our consciences

Part One

        In my articles leading up to Christmas I had promised to present to you an examination of conscience. If you did not read that recent article in which I explained how to tell if you have committed a mortal sin, please refer to it below in the archives. This examination will be in more than one part. Today I will treat the first three Commandments.

        This examination will follow the Ten Commandments and is taken from a booklet entitled A Contemporary Adult Guide to Conscience for the Sacrament of Confession by Fr. Richard J. Rego.


    • Have I denied or seriously doubted the existence of God?
    • Have I denied my Catholic Faith or substantial parts of it?
    • Have I refused to believe in defined articles of Catholic Faith?
    • Have I refused to hold to any specific thing that the Catholic Church teaches in matters of faith or morals?
    • Have I fallen into the sin of Indifferentism, that is, the notion that one religion is as good as another?
    • Have I refused to believe that Jesus Christ is a Divine Person with two natures, the nature of God and the nature of man, that He is true God and true Man?
    • Have I ever been ashamed of or denied my faith?
    • Have I committed the sin of presumption, that is, taking for granted that I will go to Heaven?
    • Have I despaired of Godís mercy, or denied it?
    • Have I murmured against God?
    • Have I practiced various forms of superstition, e.g., use of fortune tellers, mediums, ouija boards, tarot cards, dreams, lucky numbers, horoscopes?
    • Have I placed belief in any form of reincarnation?
    • Have I gone to seances to make contact with the dead or other spiritualistic reasons. (Acts of this nature, attribute to the creature supernatural powers that belong to the Creator.)
    • Have I taken part in any form of satanic worship or rituals? Have I made use of satanic sign or symbols?

    • Have I used the name of God thoughtlessly, in cursing, or in blasphemy?
    • Have I used the Name of the Lord Jesus in vain, as a curse word, an explicative expression, or in a frivolous way?
    • Have I spoken irreverently about the Holy Mother of God, or the other saints?
    • Have I attended films or listened to music that treat of Our Lord or His Holy Mother in a blasphemous or frivolous way?

    • Have I had sufficient respect in Church for the Eucharistic presence of Our Lord, Jesus Christ?
    • Have I consciously received the Sacraments of Confirmation, Holy Communion, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, or Matrimony in the state of mortal sin?
    • Have I made a sacrilegious Confession by deliberately concealing any mortal sins from the priest?
    • Have I, as a minister of the Eucharist, ordinary or extraordinary, knowingly distributed the Sacred Species, that is, the Holy Eucharist, while obstinately remaining in the state of mortal sin? For example, the minister who persists in using contraceptive measures as a means of limiting births contrary to the unmistakable teaching of the Church, or the minister who practices sins of racial prejudice.
    • Have I insisted on administering the Eucharist to persons who openly express the need to see a priest for Confession before receiving Holy Communion. (We cannot assume the state of grace or the catechetical understanding of the patient concerning the confession-communion relationship in the case of mortal sin.)
    • Have I knowingly and deliberately distributed Holy Communion to non-Catholics, contrary to the teaching of the Church?
    • Have I, in any way, deliberately desecrated the Sacred Species? (For example one who throws away or, for sacrilegious purpose, takes away or keeps them, incurs an automatic excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See.)

        I will continue with ensuing commandments to better help you with a thorough examination of conscience next year. Though that sounds distant, it will be here before you know it like next week. In the meantime, print out these three commandment examination of conscience and keep it with you when you go to Confession next. Have a Blessed New Year and may God bless you!

    Sister Mary Lucy Astuto

For past columns by Sister Lucy, see PRO-LIFE PRESCRIPTIONS Archives

December 29, 2000
volume 11, no. 276

Return to Front Page of Current Issue