Saturday, May 02, 2009
Guide to Confession with Examination of Conscience, Including Duties of Particular States of Life
Since Saturdays are traditionally the day set aside for the Sacrament of Reconcilation, I wanted to share excerpts from a very helpful little book entitled Confession: Its Fruitful Practice with an Examination of Conscience by The Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration and published by Tan Books
With every sin there is a twofold evil:
- The guilt
- The offense against God
5 Things Necessary for a Good Confession:
- Examination of conscience
- Purpose of Amendment
- Confession and Absolution
- Satisfaction: The penance that must be performed in expiation of the temporal punishment due to sin.
Making a good confession begins with a thorough examination of conscience and what better aids than the following:
The Ten Commandments.
1. I am the Lord, thy God: though shalt not have strange gods before Me.
2. Though shalt not take the Name of the Lord, thy God, in vain.
3. Remember thou keep holy the Sabbath day (Sunday).
4. Honor thy Father and thy Mother.
5. Thou shalt not kill. (This includes also injury to the soul, and charitableness).
6. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
7. Thou shalt not steal.
8. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
9. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife.
10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's goods.
The Six Precepts of the Church:
1. To attend Mass and to abstain from servile work on all Sundays and Holydays of obligation.
2. To fast and abstain from meat on the days appointed by the church.
3. To confess one's sins at least once a year.
4. To receive worthily the Blessed Eucharist at Easter Time or within the time appointed.
5. To contribute to the support of the Church.
6. Not to marry persons within the forbidden degrees of kindred or otherwise prohibited by the Church; not to solemnize the marriage at the forbidden times, in general, to observe the laws of the Church concerning marriage.
The Seven Capital Sins:
Examination of Conscience based on Duties of Particular States of Life:
For Married Persons:
- Lived in peace and union?
- Given cause for jealousy?
- Observed the laws of purity according to the married state?
- Misused the holy state of matrimony?
- Given scandal by angry disputes?
- Forsaken my partner and lived separately without just cause?
- Neglected my duties of support or care for my children and household?
- Neglected the religious training of my children?
- Failed to sen them to good Catholic schools when I could have done so?
- Sent them to a school where their Catholic faith or morals would be endangered?
- Neglected to watch over the company they keep?
- They things they read?
- The shows they watch?
- Given them scandal by cursing, quarreling, or in other ways?
- Failed to correct them?
- Selfishly interfered with the vocation of a son or daughter?
- Failed to afford those who work under me opportunities to discharge their religious duties?
- Ordered them to do anything wrong?
- To be dishonest, cheat, etc.?
- Have I paid unjust wages?
For Public Officials:
- Been faithful and exact in the discharge of my duties?
- Betrayed the public interest through fear of others' opinion, from desire for popularity, or for political or financial interest?
- Sacrificed the rights of any individual?
- Allowed crime and disorder to go unpunished? In what way, and how often?
- Have I directly or indirectly received bribes?
- Allowed myself to be influenced in the administration of justice or offical duties by promises or threats?
- Been guilty of embezzlement of public funds?
- Enriched myself or friends by unjust contracts?
- Applied my official power for revenge?
- Unjustly favored friends?
- Undertaken the care of persons seriously ill without sufficient knowledge or experience?
- Rashly hazarded dangerous remedies?
- Made needless expense?
- Intentionally taken the life of an unborn child?
- Assisted, approved of, or advised anyone to do so?
- Performed or advised forbidden operations, e.g. sterilizations?
- Given prescriptions for contraceptives or abortifacient "contraceptives"?
- Cooperated in others' doing so?
- Failed to warn those in danger of death in time for them to receive the Sacraments?
- Through neglect, allowed infants to die without Baptism?
- Taken the life of any patient, or avoided taking the ordinary means to preserve the life of any patient?
- Advocated the claims which I knew were unjust?
- Sustained an unjust defense?
- Did I thereby obtain an unjust decision?
- Have I injured the just cause of a client by treachery, gross ignorance, want of study, neglect?
- Obtained false affidavits by artifice?
- Practiced deceit in drawing up wills, deeds, etc.?
Corporal and Spiritual Acts of Mercy:
- Have I failed to relieve the temporal and spiritual necessities of others when it was in my power to do so? Did I do what I could to assist them in poverty, sickness, old age, or any spiritual need?