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The Sacrament of Reconciliation

“Sin is before all else an offense against God, a rupture of communion with him. At the same time it damages communion with the Church. For this reason conversion entails both God’s forgiveness and  reconciliation with the Church.” (CCC 1440).

To make a good confession, we need to go through the following:

1- Examination of Conscience

2- Contrition: Contrition is sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again.

3- Confession: Confession to a Catholic priest is an essential part of the sacrament of Reconciliation.

4- Absolution: The priest gives the Absolution: “God the Father of mercy, through the death and resurrection of His Son has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins. Through the ministry of the Church may God grant you pardon and peace. And I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

5- Penance: It consists of prayer, an offering, works of mercy, service of neighbor, voluntary self-denial, sacrifices, and above all the patient acceptance of the cross we must bear.


I- Did I commit any sin against the Ten commandments? (Exodus 20:2-17).

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind:

1- I am the Lord your God. You shall not have strange gods before me.

2- You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

3- Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day.

You shall love your neighbor as yourself:

4- Honor your father and your mother.

5- You shall not kill.

6- You shall not commit adultery.

7- You shall not steal.

8- You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

9- You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.

10- You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.

II- Did I commit any sin against the Church’s commandments?

1- Attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation

2- Confess your sins at least once a year

3- Receive Holy Communion during Easter time

4- Keep abstinence on Fridays and fasting during Lent (Read Dispensation)

5- Contribute to the support of the Church.

III- Did I commit any sin against Faith, Hope, and Charity?


1- Do I make an honest effort to grow in the virtue of faith by daily mental prayer on the mysteries of the faith as revealed in the life of Jesus Christ?

2- Do I make at least a short act of faith every day?

3- Do I pray daily for an increase of faith?

4- Do I ever tempt God by relying on my own strength to cope with the trials in my life?

5- Do I unnecessarily read or listen to those who oppose or belittle what I know are truths of my Catholic faith?

6- What have I done today to externally profess my faith?

7- Have I allowed human respect to keep me from giving expression to my faith?

8- Do I make a serious effort to resolve difficulties that may arise about my faith?

9- Do I ever defend my faith, prudently and charitably, when someone says something contrary to what I know is to be believed?

10- Have I helped someone overcome a difficulty against the faith?


1- Do I immediately say a short prayer when I find myself getting discouraged?

2- Do I daily say a short act of hope?

3- Do I dwell on my worries instead of dismissing them from my mind?

4- Do I fail in the virtue of hope by my attachment to the things of this world?

5- Do I try to see God’s providence in everything that “happens” in my life?

6- Do I try to see everything from the viewpoint of eternity?

7- Am I confident that, with God’s grace, I will be saved?

8- Do I allow myself to worry about my past life and thus weaken my hope in God’s mercy?

9- Do I try to combine every fully deliberate action with at least a momentary prayer for divine help?

10- How often today have I complained, even internally?


1- Have I told God, Jesus, that I love him with my whole heart?

2- Do I see God’s love for me in allowing me to prove my love for Him in the crosses He sent me today?

3- Have I failed in Charity by speaking unkindly about others?

4- Have I dwelt on what I considered someone’s unkindness toward me today?

5- Is there someone that I consciously avoid because I dislike the person?

6- Did I try to carry on a conversation today with someone who is difficult to talk to?

7- How thoughtful have I been today in doing some small favor for someone?

8- Am I given to dwelling on other people’s weaknesses or faults?

9- Have I been cheerful today in my dealings with others?

10- Do I control my uncharitable thoughts as soon as they arise?

IV- Other things to avoid:

1- Pride: Inordinate desire for honor and distinction.

2- Avarice: Inordinate desire for temporal goods.

3- Lust: Inordinate desire for sexual pleasure.

4- Envy: Sadness because of the good fortune of our neighbor.

5- Gluttony: Inordinate longing for food or drink.

6- Anger: Disorderly outburst of emotion connected with the inordinate desire for revenge.

7- Sloth: A sluggishness of the soul regarding the exertion necessary for the performance of a good work. A tedium over the friendship of God because of the efforts necessary to maintain that friendship.

V- Things to do:

1- Forgiveness of self

2- Forgiveness of others


The penitent goes to the confessional to confess his sins to a Catholic priest. The penitent says: “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Bless me Father for I have sinned. It’s been (length of time) since my last confession. My sins are…”

Then, the priest gives words of encouragement. The penitent might have a question to the priest.

The priest gives the penitent a penance. Then he says: “Say the act of contrition.”

The penitent recites the act of contrition:

“My Lord and my God, I am heartily sorry for all my sins, because through sin, I dread the loss of myself and the eternal goods and I deserved the pains of hell. But most of all I am sorry because I offended you, my Lord and my God, who deserves all honor and love. For this reason I detest sin over every evil, and I want to die in your grace before I offend you one more time. I resolve to avoid the occasions of sin and to make satisfaction for my sins as much as I can. Amen.”

Then, the priest gives the absolution:

“God the Father of mercies, through the death and the resurrection of His Son has reconciled the world to himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins. Through the ministry of the Church may God grant you pardon and peace. And I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

The penitent leaves the confessional.



I am the Lord your God. You shall not have strange gods before me.

The first commandment requires that we worship God by sacrifice (Going to Mass on Sunday and Feasts Days), adoration (reverence shown to God through worship), and prayer (request made to God).

It forbids us to dishonor Him by superstition (fabricating miracles, visions, and revelations; giving worship to a creature, idolatry, sorcery, spiritism) and irreligion (tempting God, mistreatment of a sacred person, place, or thing- sacrilege, selling or buying spiritual things).

Do I love God with all my heart, and with all my soul, and with all my mind?

Do I believe that God is the One who can bring me out of bondage? or do I have false gods in my life that I give greater attention to than God (money, pleasure, fame)?

Do I cry out to God to save me? or do I search for other saviors (addiction to alcohol, drugs, sex, etc…?)

Did I doubt or deny that God exists?

Do I refuse to believe what God has revealed to us? Did I refuse the teachings of the Catholic Church?

Do I acknowledge God’s authority? Religious authorities?

Do I go to Mass on Sundays and Feast days?

Do I worship God?

Do I place my hope in God? or do I despair of or presume on God’s mercy?

Do I bear witness to God?

Do I nourish my faith?

Do I reject everything that is opposed with the faith? or do I follow anti-church philosophies, sects, or movements)

Do I refuse to submit to the Pope?

Do I mistreat the Church, religious figures (Pope, Patriarch, Bishops, Priests, Deacons, Consecrated men & women), holy places or things (church, sanctuary, Bible, altar, chalice), sacraments (Eucharist, Confession, Baptism, etc…) through words or deeds?

Do I buy or sell sacred things?

Do I believe in fortune telling, horoscopes, dreams, the occult, good-luck charms, tarot cards, palmistry, Ouija boards, seances, reincarnation?

Do I fabricate miracles? visions? revelations?

Did I practice sorcery or spiritism?

Do I deny that I was Catholic?

Do I leave the Catholic Faith?

Do I give time to God each day in prayer?


You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

The second commandment forbids directly the dishonoring of God by profanation of His Holy Name. It also directs us to regard God’s Name as sacred in the use of vows, oaths, and adjurations and not to dishonor It by blasphemy or profanation.

Do I love God with all my heart, and with all my soul, and with all my mind?

Do I respect the Lord’s name or use His Name to bless, praise, and glorify? or do I blaspheme, insult, and abuse God’s name?

Do I keep God’s name in mind in silent loving adoration? or Do I take His name carelessly or uselessly?

Do I bear witness to the Lord’s name by confessing the faith without fear?

Do I use God’s name improperly (God, Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, the saints)?

Do I keep promises made to others in God’s name?

Do I curse, or break an oath or vow?

Do I make false oaths, swearing, or magical use of the divine name?

Do I utter against God – inwardly or outwardly- words of hatred, reproach, or defiance; in speaking ill of God; in failing in respect toward him in one’s speech?

Am I involved in language against Christ’s Church, the saints, and sacred things?

Do I use God’s name to cover up criminal practices, to reduce peoples to servitude, to torture persons or put them to death?

Do I get angry with God?


Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day.

The third commandment commands us to honor God on Sundays and Feasts days by observing the Sunday rest and attending Holy Mass.

Do I love God with all my heart, and with all my soul, and with all my mind?

Do I miss Mass on Sunday or a Holy Day of obligation through my own fault?

Do I come to Mass on time? Do I leave Mass early?

Do I work on Sunday that was not necessary?

Do I set aside Sunday as a day of rest and a family day?

Do I show reverence in the presence of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament?

Do I recall creation, the holiness of Sunday, my liberation from bondage, God’s covenant?

Do I rest and let others rest and be refreshed on Sunday?

Do I neglect to meet others in Church and encourage them?

Am I to refrain from engaging in work or activities that hinder the worship owed to God, the joy proper to the Lord’s Day, the performance of the works of mercy, and the appropriate relaxation of mind and body?

Do I consecrate Sunday to good works and humble service of the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the stranger, the sick, the prisoner?

Do I have time on Sunday for reflection, silence, cultivation of the mind, and meditation?


Honor your father and your mother.

The fourth commandment determines explicitly the duties of children towards their parents. Related to these duties are those that children have towards anyone who participates in any way in parental authority, as also the duties that parents and all superiors have towards their subjects; hence, all duties obtaining in the family and state.

Do I love my neighbor as myself?

As a child, do I show my parents reverence, love, and obedience?

As a parent, do I love my children? Do I provide for life, health, and well being of my children?

Do I give my children a good education?

As a husband, do I govern the house and family, providing food, clothing, and shelter?

As a wife, do I manage the household affairs with proper subordination to my husband?

As a employer, do I pay my workers? Do I look after their corporal and spiritual welfare?

As an employee, do I do my work with conscience? Do I show reverence, love, and obedience to my employer?

As a civil authority, do I avert all harm from my country and promote its welfare? Do I safeguard religion and morality?

As a citizen, do I love my country? Do I respect authority? Do I elect good representatives? Do I obey laws? Do I pay my taxes?

Do I disobey or disrespect my parents or legitimate superiors?

Do I neglect my duties to my husband, wife, children, or parents?

Do I express affection and gratitude toward elders and ancestors?

Do I respect teachers, employers, leaders, my country, and those who administer or govern it?

Do I fulfill my duties as a parent, instructor, teacher, leader, magistrate, governor, and man of authority over others or over a community of persons?

Do I anticipate my parents’ wishes, willingly seek their advice, and accept their just admonitions?

Do I give my parents material and moral support in old age and in times of illness, loneliness, or distress?

Do I create a home where tenderness, forgiveness, respect, fidelity, and disinterested service are the rule?

Do I exert pressure on my children either in the choice of a profession or in that of a spouse?

Do I respect my children’s call (vocation) and encourage them to follow it?

Do I neglect to give good religious example to my family?

Do I fail to actively take an interest in the religious education and formation of my children?

Do I fail to educate myself on the true teachings of the Church?

Do I give scandal by what I said or did, especially to the young?

Do I cause anyone to leave the faith?

Do I cause tension and fights in my family?

Do I care for my aged and infirm relatives?


You shall not kill.

The fifth commandment forbids all unjust killing either of oneself or of others. It forbids all unjustified wounding or mutilation. Since death can result from the neglect of adequate care of one’s health, the preservation of life and health is also a duty.

Do I love my neighbor as myself?

Do I kill or physically injure anyone?

Do I have an abortion, or advise someone else to have an abortion?

Do I use or cause my spouse to use birth control pills?

Do I attempt suicide?

Do I take part in or approve of “mercy killing” (euthanasia)?

Do I get angry, impatient, envious, unkind, proud, revengeful, jealous, hateful toward another, lazy?

Do I give bad example by drug abuse, drinking alcohol to excess, fighting, quarreling?

Do I abuse my children?

Do I tempt my neighbor damaging his virtue and integrity and drawing him into spiritual death?

Do I provoke my children to anger?

Do I avoid every kind of excess: the abuse of food, alcohol, tobacco, or medicine?

Do I endanger my own and others’ safety on the road, at sea, or in the air (drunkenness, love of speed)?

Do I inflict grave damage on human health and life by using drugs?

Do I kidnap or take hostage?

Do I use torture to extract confessions, punish the guilty, frighten opponents, or satisfy hatred.

Do I have respect for the dead?

Do I give attention to the dying?

Do I safeguard peace?

Do I work for the avoidance of wars?


You shall not commit adultery.

The sixth commandment explicitly forbids only adultery. Every external sin against chastity is prohibited.

Do I love my neighbor as myself?

Do I willfully entertain impure thoughts or desires (lust)?

Do I use impure or suggestive words, tell impure stories, listen to them?

Do I deliberately look at impure TV, videos, plays, pictures, or movies (pornography)?

Do I deliberately read impure materials?

Do I commit impure acts by myself (masturbation)?

Do I commit impure acts with another (premarital sex, adultery, homosexuality, incest)?

Do I practice artificial birth control (pills, device, withdrawal)?

Do I marry or advise anyone to marry outside the Church?

Do I avoid the occasions of impurity?

Do I try to control my thoughts?

Do I respect all members of the opposite sex, or have I thought of other people as objects?

Do I or my spouse have sterilization done?

Do I abuse my marriage rights?

Do I maintain the integrity of the powers of life and love placed in me?

Do I let myself be dominated by my passions and become unhappy?

Do I commit rape?

Do I encourage prostitution?

Do I consider the child as a piece of property not a gift or a fruit of a conjugal act?

Do I encourage divorce?


You shall not steal.

The seventh commandment protects the right of ownership.

Do I love my neighbor as myself?

Do I steal, cheat, help or encourage others to steal or keep stolen goods?

Have I made restitution for stolen goods?

Do I fulfill my contracts; give or accept bribes; pay my bills; rashly gamble or speculate; deprive my family of the necessities of life?

Do I waste time at work, school, or at home?

Do I envy other people’s families or possessions?

Do I make material possessions the purpose of my life?

As a holder of goods for use and consumption, do I use them with moderation, reserving the better part for guests, for the sick and the poor?

Do I manipulate the price of goods artificially in order to gain an advantage to the detriment of others?

Do I avoid corruption in which one influences the judgment of those who must make decisions according to law?

Do I commit forgery of checks and invoices?

Do I make excessive expenses and waste?

Do I willfully damage private or public property?

Do I pay debts?

Do I cause animals to suffer or die needlessly?

Do I spend money on animals that should as a priority go to the relief of human misery?

Do I block the access to employment and to professions out of discrimination (men and women, healthy and unhealthy, Christian and non-Christian, natives and immigrants, etc…)?

Do I practice the spiritual works of mercy (instructing, advising, consoling, comforting, forgiving, bearing wrongs patiently)?

Do I practice the corporal works of mercy (feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless,

clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned, and burying the dead)?

Do I practice almsgiving?


You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

The eighth commandment forbids the giving of false testimony against our neighbor, and safeguards the virtue of veracity. This virtue is sinned against both by telling untruths (lying, detraction, calumny) and by unlawfully revealing what is true (contumely, rash judgment and the violation of secrets).

Do I love my neighbor as myself?

Do I lie?

Do I deliberately deceive others, or injure others by lies?

Do I commit perjury?

Do I gossip or reveal others’ faults or sins?

Do I fail to keep secret that should be confidential?

Do I misrepresent the truth in my relations with others?

Am I ashamed of the Truth?

Do I make publicly a statement contrary to the truth?

Do I assume as true, without sufficient foundation, the moral fault of a neighbor?

Do I disclose another’s faults and failings, without objectively valid reason, to persons who did not know them?

Do I harm the reputation of others, by remarks contrary to the truth, and give occasion for false judgments concerning them?

Do I disclose confidential information?


You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.

The ninth commandment prohibits unchaste thoughts and desires.

Do I love my neighbor as myself?

Do I look at someone lustfully?

Do I remain pure of heart so that I may see God?

Do I love with upright and undivided heart?

Do I have the purity of intention, vision, the discipline of feelings and imagination?

Am I modest in choosing my clothing, in keeping silence or reserve where there is evident risk of unhealthy curiosity?

Do I resist the allurements of fashion?

Do I avoid entertainment inclined to voyeurism and illusion?


You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.

The tenth commandment protects the right of ownership.

Do I love my neighbor as myself?

Do I covet the goods of another, which are the root of theft, robbery, and fraud?

Do I give in to the “lust of the eyes”, which leads to violence and injustice?

Do I give in to avarice?

Do I allow the sensitive appetite to exceed the limits of reason and drive me to covet unjustly what is not mine and belongs to another or is owed to him?

Do I reject greed and the desire to amass earthly goods without limits?

Do I hope that my peers will be impoverished, in order to realize a profit either by selling to them or buying from them?

Do I banish envy from my human heart?

Do I give in to the sadness at the sight of another’s goods and the immoderate desire to acquire them for myself, even unjustly?