Adults: An Examination of Conscience
This examination of conscience is not intended merely as a checklist
to be used prior to confession. The purpose of this examination
is to help souls to know what actions or attitudes are sinful and
the gravity of the particular sin. The hope is that this knowledge
will serve to keep people from committing these sins.
* Three things are necessary for a sin to be mortal: 1.
Serious matter (things listed on this sheet); 2. Knowledge or firm
belief that the act is seriously wrong prior to committing the act;
3. Full consent of the will.
All three of these conditions must be present simultaneously for
a sin to be mortal. This means that if you did not know the act
was seriously wrong, then you are not guilty of having committed
a mortal sin. If you did not will the act, e.g., if you were forced
or if it was in a dream, you are not guilty of having committed
a mortal sin. All mortal sins committed since your last confession
must be confessed by both type and number, i.e., the title of the
sin and how many times it was done. If there is a mortal sin from
the past that was forgotten and has not been confessed, it should
be confessed at your next confession. It is not necessary to confess
venial sins, but it is a good and pious practice.
1. I am the Lord your God. You shall not have strange gods
- Involvement in occult practices, e.g., witchcraft, ouija boards,
seances, palm reading, tarot cards, hypnotism, divination, astrology,
black magic, sorcery, etc.
- Involvement in or adherence to New Age or Eastern philosophies,
atheism or agnosticism
- Apostasy (leaving the Church)
- Adherence to a schismatic group
- Putting faith in superstition, e.g., horoscopes, good luck charms,
- Joining the Masons or other secret society
- Receiving Holy Communion in the state of mortal sin
- Receiving the Sacraments of Confirmation or Matrimony while in
the state of mortal sin
- Willful participation in illicit (non-emergency) “General
- Being married by a Justice of the Peace or by a minister of another
denomination (without dispensation)
- Involvement in false or pagan worship
- Willfully denying the Faith of the Catholic Church
- Despair of God’s grace or mercy
- Presumption (committing a mortal sin with the idea that you can
just go to confession)
- Hatred of God
- Simony (buying or selling spiritual things)
- Failure to receive Holy Communion at least once per year ( if
possible, during the Easter Season)
- Desecration of the Holy Eucharist
2. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
- Using God’s name intentionally as a curse
- Seriously wishing evil upon another
- Serious slander or insult of a sacred person or object
- Making an oath in a secret society
- Telling a lie or withholding a serious sin in confession
- Blasphemy (words of hatred, reproach or defiance toward God; speaking
ill of God)
- Perjury (lying under oath)
- Swearing false oaths
3. Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day.
- Missing Mass on Sunday or a Holy Day of Obligation without a serious
- Doing unnecessary work on Sunday for a long period of time, i.e.,
more than several hours
- Intentional failure to fast or abstain on appointed days
- Requiring employees to work on Sunday in non-essential occupations
4. Honor your father and mother.
- Serious failure to care for aged parents
- Serious neglect of the duties of one’s state in life
- Serious disrespect for or disobedience to parents, superiors or
- Wishing death or evil on parents
- Abuse or serious neglect of children
- Failure to baptize children in a reasonable time (within a few
months) after birth
- Serious neglect of the religious education or upbringing of children
- Failure to carry out the last will of deceased parents
5. You shall not kill.
- Murder, homicide or manslaughter
- Procurement of an abortion
- Promoting, counseling or paying for an abortion
- Knowingly voting for someone who is pro-abortion
- Willfully injuring or trying to hurt another person
- Willfully leading another into serious sin
- Driving dangerously or recklessly
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Willfully harboring hatred for another
- Taking or selling illegal drugs
- Willful drunkenness
- Self mutilation
- Excessive tattoos
- Excessive body piercing
- Piercing of the nipples or sexual organs
- Promotion of or involvement in euthanasia
- Serious entertainment of suicidal thoughts
- Attempting or intending suicide
- Willful failure to bury the body or ashes of the dead
- Willful engagement in unjust lawsuits
- Bigotry (hatred for persons of other races)
- Intentionally placing temptation before the weak
6. You shall not commit adultery.
- Fornication (intercourse prior to marriage)
- Masturbation or other impure acts with self
- Homosexual acts
- Using a contraceptive
- Dressing or acting in a manner intended to cause arousal in another
- Kissing or touching another passionately for the purpose of arousal
- Allowing another to kiss or touch you in a sexual manner (spouses
- Intentionally causing a sexual climax outside of intercourse
- Onanism, i.e. intentional withdrawal and non-vaginal ejaculation
- Flagrant immodesty in dress
- Bestiality (sexual acts with animals)
- Oral Sex (oral stimulation permitted as foreplay in marriage -
ejaculation must be vaginal)
- Anal sex or other degrading sex practices
- In-vitro fertilization or artificial insemination
- Surrogate motherhood
- “Selective reduction” of babies in the womb
- Types of fertility testing that involve immoral acts
- Involvement in or support of human cloning
- Willful divorce or desertion
- Polygamy or polyandry (many wives/husbands)
- Cohabitation prior to marriage
- Destroying the innocence of another by seducing or introducing
them to immorality
- Lust in the heart (“if I could I would”)
- “Swinging” or wife swapping
- Transvestitism or cross dressing
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OF THE SAINTS
BLESSED JUNIPERO SERRA
Blessed Junipero Serra was born in Petra, Spain, on November 24, 1713. The boy became a student at the Franciscan school in Palma
St. Otto lived in the twelfth century. He was born in Swabia, present-day Bavaria.
St. Thomas was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. His name in the Syriac language means "twin."
ST. ELIZABETH OF PORTUGAL
St. Elizabeth, a Spanish princess, was born in 1271. She married King Denis of Portugal at the age of twelve.
ST. ANTHONY MARY ZACCARIA
St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria was born in Italy in 1502. While he was still young, his father died.
ST. MARIA GORETTI
St. Maria Goretti was born in 1890. Her father died when she and the other five children in her family were small. At twelve, Maria was already very pretty.
BLESSED ROGER DICKENSON, BLESSED RALPH MILNER AND BLESSED LAWRENCE HUMPHREY
These three martyrs lived in England during the time of Church persecution by Queen Elizabeth I.
BLESSED EUGENE III
Blessed Eugene III was born near Pisa, Italy, in the twelfth century. He was baptized Peter.
ST. FELICITY AND HER SEVEN SONS.
St. Felicity was a noble Christian woman of Rome. She lived during the second century.
St. Benedict was born in 480. He was from a rich Italian family. His life was full of adventure and wonderful deeds.
ST. JOHN GAULBERT
St. John Gaulbert was born in Florence, Italy, at the end of the tenth century. He and his father were devastated when John's only brother, Hugh, was murdered.
ST. HENRY II.
St. Henry II was born in 972. He became the duke of Bavaria in 995. One night he had an unusual vision. St. Wolfgang, who had been his beloved teacher when he was a boy, appeared to him.
BLESSED KATERI TEKAKWITHA
Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha was born in Auriesville, New York, in 1656. Her mother was a Christian Algonquin. Her father was a non-Christian Mohawk chief.
St. was born in 1221 in Tuscany, Italy, and was baptized John.
FEAST OF OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL
This feast was instituted by the Carmelites between 1376 and 1386 under the title "Commemoratio B. Marif Virg.
ST. LEO IV.
St. Leo IV lived in the ninth century. He was a Roman by birth and spent his life in that city. Leo was educated in the Benedictine monastery near St. Peter's Basilica.
St. Frederick lived in ninth-century Utrecht, in the central part of the Netherlands. When he was ordained a priest, Bishop Ricfried put him in charge of instructing converts.
St. Macrina was the first child of St. Basil the Elder and St. Emmelia.
St. Charbel was born to a poor Maronite Family on May 8, 1828 in a mountain village of Biqa-Kafra, Lebanon.
ST. LAWRENCE OF BRINDISI.
St. Lawrence was born Caesar Rossi in Brindisi, Italy, in 1559. Brindisi was part of the Kingdom of Naples, Italy.
ST. MARY MAGDALENE.
St. Mary Magdalene was from Magdala near the Sea of Galilee. Some people identify her as a well-known sinner when she first saw Our Lord.
ST. BRIDGET OF SWEDEN.
St. Bridget was born in Sweden in 1303. From the time she was a child, she was greatly devoted to the passion of Jesus.
ST. BORIS AND ST. GLEB
St. Boris and St. Gleb, the brothers, were born toward the end of the tenth century.
ST. JAMES THE GREATER
St. James was a fisherman like his father Zebedee and his brother John.
ST. JOACHIM AND ST. ANNE
St. Anne and St. Joachim are the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
St. Pantaleon came from Nicomedia, near the Black Sea, in Asia. He lived in the fourth century.
St. Martha was the sister of Mary and Lazarus.
ST. PETER CHRYSOLOGUS
St. Peter Chrysologus was born in the small town of Imola, Italy.
ST. IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA
St. Ignatius, the famous founder of the Jesuits, was born in 1491.
PHOTO OF THE MONTH
of the Relics of the Passion
for Holy Relics)
Why did Jesus, the sinless one sent from the Father in heaven,
submit himself to John’s baptism? John preached a
baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Luke
3:3). In this humble submission we see a foreshadowing of
the “baptism” of Jesus bloody death upon the
cross. Jesus’ baptism is the acceptance and the beginning
of his mission as God’s suffering Servant (Isaiah
52:13-15; 53:1-12). He allowed himself to be numbered among
sinners. Jesus submitted himself entirely to his Father’s
will. Out of love he consented to this baptism of death
for the remission of our sins. Do you know the joy of trust
and submission to God?