REMEMBER HOW TO MAKE A GOOD CONFESSION?
In recent weeks Iíve written about mortal sin, venial sin; and about
imperfections. I kindly refer you to those archived articles.
Iíve been asked if I could e-mail the examination of conscience booklet which
I have been recommending, but it is too long for me to do so. But I share with you a
shortened form and suggestions on how to make a good confession.
Before I go to confession I always pray:
Dear Blessed Mother, please obtain
for me the light to know my sins, the grace to be sorry for them, the courage to confess them and the
fortitude to amend them.
I usually add a prayer to the Holy Spirit to help me know and confess my sins in a
manner befitting His child.
There are five steps to making a good confession (after praying for light and
grace). They are:
- 1) Examine your conscience.
- 2) Be sorry for your sins; try to have a sorrow for having offended God, Who
is All-Good. But it is OK (with confession) to be sorry because you deserve to be punished.
- 3) Make a firm resolve not to sin again and to avoid the near occasions of
- 4) Confess ALL mortal sins and circumstances which may change their nature;
(for example, to murder a priest or religious adds sacrilege to murder); if you have no mortal sins to
confess, find three or four habits of venial sin. It helps, but is not a requisite, to try to determine WHY you
commit those sins. Is it out of a lack of
Faith or out of pride?
- 5) Say your penance promptly.
In an examination, one should check over the Ten Commandments of God; the Six
Commandments of the Church; the Christian Virtues and the duties of oneís state in life. The
following is taken from a leaflet which enjoys the imprimatur of John R. Roach, D.D., Archbishop of St. Paul and
- 1. Did I fail to love God... to pray? Have I doubted or denied my Faith?
Was I careless in saying my prayers? Read books against the Catholic Faith? Read New Age material?
- 2. Did I curse, swear, or take Godís name in vain: lightly... carelessly...
by blasphemy? Do I use profane language? Have I insulted a sacred person?
- 3. Have I missed Mass through my own fault? On Sundays? Holy Days? Was I
late for Mass or did I leave early without a good reason? Allow my children to miss Mass? Did I
omit my Easter Duty? (to receive Communion during Easter time)? Or my yearly Confession duty? Was I easily
distracted at Mass? Did I do unnecessary servile work on Sunday?
- 4. Did I honor and obey my parents? Others with lawful authority? Have I
talked back? Failed to help at home? Been sad or sour? Neglected my childrenís religious education? Failed
to lead them to Mass... to frequent confession? Failed to spend time with my family? Separated or
divorced civilly without consultation according to the mind of the Church?
- 5. Was I angry... resentful... kept hatred in my heart? Did I fight... give
bad example or scandal? Did I fail to correct in charity? Permitted or encouraged an abortion or mutilation
(vasectomy, etc.) to avoid children?
- 6. Did I consent to impure glances? Passionate kisses? Sinful touches?
Was I immodest in dress or behavior? Did I read impure books or magazines? Am I guilty of masturbation
(impurity with self), fornication (pre-marital sex), adultery (sex with a married person) or birth control (by
pills, devices, withdrawal)? do I avoid laziness, gluttony, idleness, and the occasions of impurity?
- 7. Did I steal? What or how much? Did I return it or make equal
restitution? Did I waste time at work, in school, at home? Am I stingy? Do I gamble excessively? Neglect to pay my debts promptly? Do I live poverty of spirit and detachment? Have I supported my church regularly?
- 8. Have I lied, gossiped? Talked about another behind his back? Do I
always tell the truth? Am I sincere? Did I reveal secrets that should have been kept confidential? Am I
critical, negative or uncharitable in my talk?
- 9. Have I consented to impure thoughts? Have I caused them by stares, bad
reading, curiosity or impure conversations? Do I neglect to control my imagination? Do I pray at once to
banish such bad thoughts and temptations?
- 10. Is my heart greedy? Am I jealous of what another has? Am I envious of
him because I donít have what he has? Am I moody? Gloomy? Do I work, study and keep busy to counter
idle thoughts? Is my heart set on earthly possessions or on the true treasures in Heaven?
Next week I shall write about sacrilegious Communions.
If you would like a more thorough and inexpensive examination of conscience
booklet, you can e-mail me at Srmarylucy@aol.com.
God bless you!