Help Me to See

An Examination of Conscience

Help Me to See

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When we examine our conscience, we prayerfully ask God to help us see how we have sinned in our thoughts, words, and actions. The Scriptures listed for each area can help. It is good to examine your conscience weekly and before going to Confession.

Love of God
(Mark 12:28-30; John 14:21)

• Do I attend Mass when it is offered at the institution?
• Am I angry at God or do I feel bitter toward him?
• Do I curse, swear, or use God’s name irreverently?

Love for Others
(Luke 10:25-37; John 13:12-15)

• Do I control or manipulate other people?
• Have I judged inmates based on their race, religion, crime, or education?
• Do I allow my emotions to get out of control?

Forgiveness
(Matthew 18:21-35; John 8:1-11)

• Is there a sin that I believe God won’t forgive?
• Do I need to forgive someone who has hurt me?
• Do I let resentment fester in my heart?

Family Relationships
(1 John 4:9)

• Do I pray for my family and honor them in thought and speech?
• Do I initiate regular contact with my parents, spouse, and children?
• Have I tried to mend broken relationships?

Speech
(Psalm 141:3)

• Have I used language that insults, demeans, or humiliates other people?
• Have I gossiped or slandered someone?
• Do I complain about my circumstances?

Purity
(1 Thessalonians 4:3)

• Do I give my mind over to lustful thoughts or fantasies?
• Have I told or enjoyed obscene jokes? Have I used pornography?
• Am I involved in a same-sex relationship?

Honesty
(Ephesians 4:25)

• Am I honest with myself? Do I accept responsibility for my actions?
• Have I been involved with contraband—alcohol, drugs, etc.?
• Have I lied, cheated, or taken things that belong to someone else?

Act of Contrition: My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against you, whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us; in his name, my God, have mercy. Amen.