Prayer 53h. An Examination of
Conscience in Light of the Ten Commandments
Refer to Exodus 20:1-17, Deuteronomy 5:6-21
The First Commandment
1. I am the Lord your God: you shall not
have strange gods before me.
Have I received Holy Communion in the state of mortal sin?
Have I neglected to confess a mortal sin in a previous
confession to a priest, when I was aware of having committed one?
Have I practiced superstition?
Have I been engaged in occult practices such as consulting
horoscopes, tarot cards, or ouija boards?
Have I participated in seances, or in satanic or demonic
services and/or prayers?
Have I refused to accept any teaching of the Church?
Have I put my soul in danger by reading, viewing, or
listening to material that attacks the teachings of the Catholic Church in
matters of faith or morals?
Do I belong to any anti-Catholic organizations?
Have I attended the meetings or gatherings of any
Have I profaned (desecrated) or spoken sinfully against a
sacred person, place, or thing?
Have I been slow or reluctant to perform my duties toward
Have I neglected to pray?
Have I neglected to prepare myself properly for Holy
The Second Commandment
2. You shall not take the Name of the Lord your God in vain.
Have I taken the Holy Name of God in vain?
Have I spoken His Name in anger?
Have I jokingly or irreverently spoken about God?
Have I been a baptismal or confirmation sponsor in a
Have I broken any promises (oaths) in which I invoked
The Third Commandment
3. Remember to keep holy the Lords Day.
Have I failed to attend Mass on Sundays or holy days of
obligation without just cause (for example, serious illness or impassible roads
Have I arrived at Mass on Sundays or holy days of
obligation after the Liturgy of the Word without just cause?
Have I worn improper attire to Mass, or have I otherwise
distracted others from paying attention at Mass?
Do I fast and practice abstinence on the days or at times
which are appointed by the Church?
Have I fulfilled my yearly Easter duty of receiving Holy
Communion (and Confession, if necessary)?
Have I fulfilled the Churchs precept to confess my sins
at least once a year? (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2042)
Have I performed (or required others to perform) servile
or manual labor on Sundays (not including work to save souls or work required by
your employer, enjoyable gardening, or acts of mercy such as helping a neighbor
in need or milking cows and feeding livestock)?
Have I deliberately failed to pay attention at Mass?
Am I generous in helping the Church in her necessities as
much as I can?
The Fourth Commandment
4. Honor your father and your mother.
Have I set a bad example for my children?
When I do correct my childrens faults, is it done with
Have I made sure that my children make their First
Confession and First Communion at about the age of seven?
Have I failed to take my children to Mass on Sundays and
holy days of obligation; or neglected to provide them with an orthodox Catholic
education; or neglected to teach them how to pray; or failed to lead them to the
Have I failed to supervise my children with respect to the
friends they choose and the entertainment they pursue?
Do I monitor my children in their choice of reading
material, in the shows they watch on television, or in the movies they attend?
Have I separated from or divorced my spouse civilly
without consultation of a priest who follows the mind of the Church?
Do I seek Gods help every day to fulfill my duties as a
Have I disobeyed my parents, or been disrespectful to them in other ways?
Do I nurse angry feelings or show resentment when I am corrected by my
Have I been moody, sour, or bad-tempered towards other
Do I desire to leave my parents household when I am too young or for other improper reasons?
Am I a financial burden to my parents when I can take care of my own financial needs and am old enough to help support the household?
Do I fight and/or quarrel with my brothers and sisters?
Have I failed to express my love for my parents?
Have I failed to help my parents when they were unable to meet their basic needs?
Do I faithfully perform without complaining the
household and outdoor chores my parents give me to do?
The Fifth Commandment
5. You shall not kill.
Have I lost my temper or become unjustly angry at others?
Have I murdered or otherwise unjustly injured (no matter how slight) anyone?
Have I been a reckless driver?
Have I tempted others to sin by my bad example or sinful
Have I encouraged others to read or watch sinful materials
or programs or to otherwise do sinful things?
Have I tried to make up for, or repair for, the bad
example I may have given others?
Have I been jealous of others? Have I been envious of the
possessions of others?
How many people have I led into sin? What type of sins
Have I tried to commit suicide?
Have I failed to take proper care of my health?
Have I mutilated myself or someone else?
Have I been drunk or intoxicated on alcohol or other
Have I intentionally overindulged in food or drink
Have I participated in gang fights or other illegal gang
Have I picked fights with others?
Have I been a bully?
Have I consented to a sterilization or encouraged others
to do so, or actively taken part in someone elses sterilization?
Have I practiced contraception or encouraged others to do
Have I recommended, consented to, advised, or actively
taken part in an abortion?
Am I aware of the Churchs teaching that abortion is a
mortal sin, and that those who actively take part (for example, doctor, nurse,
and mother) in an abortion are automatically excommunicated? (However, most
priests have the authority to lift that excommunication.)
Have I harmed anyones reputation by my speech or
Have I desired to take revenge of anyone who offended me?
Have I hated or nursed bad feelings toward any person?
Have I maliciously teased or insulted others?
Have I refused to forgive anyone who may have offended me?
Have I sought pardon of those whom I have offended?
The Sixth and Ninth
6. You shall not commit adultery.
9. You shall not covet your neighbors wife.
Have I entertained impure thoughts? Have I deliberately
recalled impure thoughts or images? Do I watch soap operas or other impure
Have I had sexual relations with a member of the opposite
sex when we werent married to each other (fornication)?
Have I had sexual relations with a married person who is
not my spouse (adultery)?
Although I may never have fully carried them out, have I
consented to impure desires?
Were any circumstances present to make the sin of impurity
even more serious, for example, having impure relations with someone who is
consecrated to God by vows (sacrilege), or who is married to someone other than
myself (adultery), or who is a member of my family (other than my spouse if I am
Have I engaged in impure conversations? Did I begin them?
Have I sought to have a good time by engaging in
entertainment which placed me in proximate [close] occasions of sin, such as
sensual dances; sexually suggestive movies, plays, and reading material; evil
company; houses of prostitution; and massage parlors?
Am I aware of the fact that I might already be sinning by
simply placing myself in a proximate occasion of sin? Such circumstances can
include sharing of a room with a member of the opposite sex, being alone with a
member of the opposite sex with whom I have continually sinned with, or
deliberately taking such a person to a secluded place.
Have I neglected to dress modestly or to otherwise
Have I willfully looked at immodest pictures?
Have I displayed immodest looks or glances at others?
Did I do any of the above things, knowing that they
involved gravely sinful matter?
Have I led others to commit the sins of immodesty or
impurity? Specifically speaking, what were they?
Have I committed impure acts by myself (masturbation)? Did
I do so deliberately and freely, knowing that serious matter was involved? Did I
know that masturbation freely and willfully performed is a mortal sin?
Have I committed impure acts with someone else either of
the opposite or the same sex (homosexual acts)? How many times did I do so? Were
there any circumstances (such as impure acts with members of my family other
than my spouse, or with persons consecrated to God by vows or promises) which
could have made the sin especially serious?
Did these sinful acts have any consequences?
Did I do anything to prevent possible consequences
(artificial contraception) or to eliminate actual consequences after the
conception of new life (abortion)?
Do I have evil or immoral friendships? Have I taken steps
to break these friendships?
Have I been engaged in immodest conduct or conversation
with someone I am seriously thinking of marrying?
Have I tended to use this person as an object for my
pleasure, rather than a person created in Gods image and likeness whom God
has placed in my life to respect and reverence?
Have I been involved in acts which arouse lustful desires
(such as prolonged embraces, petting, and passionate kissing)?
Have I failed to protect my spouse, fiance, or friend from
Have I failed to investigate beforehand the sinful
potentials of watching a particular show or reading a particular book or
For Married People:
Have I made improper use of marriage?
Have I denied my spouse of her or his marital right?
Have I engaged in adulterous acts or desires?
Have I used or consented to the use of artificial
Have I suggested that others do so? (On sterilization,
abortion, etc., refer to the Fifth Commandment)
Do I practice natural means of conception control without
justifiable reasons before God for doing so?
The Seventh and Tenth
7. You shall not steal.
10. You shall not covet your neighbors goods.
Have I stolen anything? What was it worth?
Have I returned the stolen item, or do I intend to return
Have I damaged or been responsible for the damage of
another persons property? What would be the cost of repairing or replacing
Have I caused harm to anyone in business dealings by means
of fraud, deception, or coercion?
Have I spent beyond my means?
Have I deprived others of their needs by spending too
Have I supported the Church and charitable organizations
according to my means?
Have I honored my debts?
Have I taken stolen property or refused to seek the owner
of property that I have found?
Have I seriously entertained temptations to steal?
Have I been lazy with respect to my employment, household
chores, work, or studies?
Have I been greedy?
Have I placed too high a value on material goods?
Have I failed to help those whom I know are truly needy?
Have I been irresponsible with money or other means of
wealth which God has entrusted to me?
Have I been envious of the wealth or material goods of
The Eighth Commandment
8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
Have I lied?
Have I sought to make up for the damage caused by my lies?
Have I accused others of wrongdoing without sufficient
Have I been guilty of detraction (that is, speaking about
the faults of others without having a good reason for doing so)?
Have I been guilty of calumny (that is, to falsely accuse
someone of sinful conduct)?
Have I gossiped about another person?
Have I too hastily judged someone of improper conduct?
Have I, without sufficient cause, suspected someone to be
guilty of misconduct?
Have I been excessively critical, negative, or
uncharitable in my speech?
Have I failed to honor the confidences or secrets
entrusted to me by another? Have I revealed them to someone else without
permission or without due or serious cause?
Have I used the technique of binding others to secrecy
about something that should be revealed to lawful authority? Do I realize that
this practice is very divisive if it is outside of Confession?
Have I failed to defend the good name or honor of others?
Prayer Taken from our Family
Consecration Prayer and Meditation Book -click to buy