Sample Examination of Conscience For Adults

(Rite of Penance, Appendix 3)

I. The Lord says: "You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart."

  1. Is my heart set on God, loving God above all things, faithful to the commandments? Or, am I more concerned with the things of this world? 

  2. Have I been careful to grow in my understanding of the faith, to hear God's word, to listen to instructions on the faith?  Have I professed my faith in God and the Church?  Have I been willing to be known as a Christian in private and public life?

  3. Do I pray?  Do I offer God my difficulties, my joys and my sorrows?  Do I turn to God in times of temptation?

  4. Have I love and reverence for God's name?

  5. Do I keep Sundays and feast days holy by taking a full part in the liturgy?  Have I fulfilled the precept of annual confession and of communion during the Easter season?

  6. Are there false gods that I worship by giving them greater attention and deeper trust than I give to God: money, superstition, spiritism, or other occult practices?

II. The Lord says: "Love one another as I have loved you."

  1. Have I a genuine love for my neighbors?

  2. In my family life, have I contributed to the well-being and happiness of the rest of the family by patience and genuine love?  Have I been obedient to parents; careful to give a Christian upbringing to my children; faithful to my husband or wife in my heart and in my relations with others?

  3. Do I share my possesions with the less fortunate?  Do I do my best to help the victims of oppression, misfortune and poverty? Do I help the poor, the sick, the elderly, strangers?

  4. Does my life reflect the mission I received in baptism? To share in the apostolic and charitable works of the Church and in the life of my parish? 

  5. Am I concerned for the good and prosperity of the human community in which I live?  Have I done my duty as a citizen?

  6. In my work or profession, am I just, hard-working, honest, serving society out of love for others?  Have I paid a just wage to my employees?  Have I been faithful to my promises and contracts?

  7. Have I obeyed legitimate authority and given it due respect?

  8. If I am in a position of responsibility or authority, do I use this for my own advantage? or for the good of others, in a spirit of service?

  9. Have I been truthful and fair, or have I injured others by lies, detraction, rash judgment, or violation of a secret?

  10. Have I done violence to others by damage to life or limb, reputation, honor or material possessions?  Am I estranged from others through quarrels, insults, anger?  Have I been guilty of refusing to testify to the innocence of another?  Have I been responsible for advising an abortion or procurring one?

  11. Have I stolen the property of others?  Have I desired it unjustly?  Have I damaged it? 

  12. If I have been injured, have I been ready to make peace for the love of Christ and to forgive, or do I harbor hatred and the desire for revenge?

III. Christ our Lord says: "Be perfect as your Father is perfect."

  1. Where is my life leading me?  Is the hope of eternal life my inspiration? 

  2. Have I tried to grow in the life of the Spirit through prayer, reading the word of God and meditating on it, recieving the sacraments? 

  3. Have I been proud and boastful, despising others as less important than myself? 

  4. Have I imposed my own will on others without respecting their freedom and rights?

  5. What use have I made of time, of health and strength, of the gifts God has given me?

  6. Have I been patient in accepting the sorrows and disappointments of life?