It is advisable to make an examination of conscience every evening; here an examination of conscience as guide, also before sacramental confession.
The Ten Commandments
“When did you make your last confession? Was it a good one? – Did you conceal a mortal sin? – Did you perform your penance?
1) Have you since neglected your morning, evening, or meal prayers? Often? – Have you said them with wilful distraction? – Have you doubted in matters of faith? – Were you ashamed to fulfil your religious duties? – Have you exposed your faith to danger, for instance, by going to heretical churches, reading heretical books, etc.? – Did you deny your religion?
2) Have you taken the Name of God in vain? – Have you spoken irreverently or mockingly of holy things? – Have you cursed yourself or others? – Have you sworn falsely, rashly, or in trivial matters? – Have you broken your vows?
3) Did you on Sundays or Holydays stay away from Mass wilfully? Did you come too late? How often? – Have you done or commanded servile work on such days without necessity? – Have you been irreverent in Church?
4) (Children): Have you been disobedient towards your parents or disrespectful otherwise? – Have you grieved them, neglected to assist them when in need?
(Parents): Have you neglected to teach your children their prayers, to send them to church and to a Catholic school? – Have you given them scandal by cursing, quarreling, etc., in their presence? – Neglected to watch over them: the company they keep, the books they read, [the way they use electronic media and entertainment] etc.?
5) Have you struck or wounded others? – Did you injure your health by excessive drink, etc.? – Did you bear hatred? – How long? – Did you desire revenge, refuse to forgive? – Did you wish others harm? – Have you lead others into sin? What sins? – How many persons? – Have you given others bad books to read; shown them bad pictures; taken them to bad places; helped them to steal, etc.?
6) and 9) Have you wilfully entertained impure thoughts? desires? How often? – Have you recalled with pleasure to mind former sins of impurity? What sins? – Did you expose yourself to danger of committing sins of impurity by keeping bad company, reading lewd books, frequenting bad places, dangerous dances, theatres, etc.? – Did you wilfully give ear to, or take part in impure conversations, sing immodest songs, [told or listened to immodest jokes, comedies, films, etc.], boast of immodest actions, etc.? – Did you wilfully look at immodest pictures, or cast immodest looks upon yourself or others? – Did you sin by immodest touch or action? Was it with yourself or with others? How often? Was it with relatives, perhaps with a married person? Did you wilfully desire to commit such sins? – Did you lead others to any sins of immodesty?
7) and 10) Did you steal? What was it worth? – Have you cheated on any one? – Have you done or caused damage? To what amount? – Did you neglect to make restitution in former cases? – Neglect to pay your debts? – Retain things found or stolen? – Did you have a desire to steal?
8) Did you tell lies? – Did you make known the hidden faults of your neighbour? – Did you, through envy or hatred, tell lies about others? Have you injured them thereby? – Have you judged others rashly? suspected others falsely?
Precepts of the Church
Have you gone to confession within the past year? Have you fulfilled your Easter duty by receiving Holy Communion during the Easter-time? Did you eat flesh-meat on forbidden days, wilfully? Did you neglect to fast on the days prescribed, without cause? Did you belong to any society forbidden by the Church?
The Seven Capital Sins
Have you been proud and thought yourself better than others? – Have you been jealous or envious? – Have you the habit of drinking to excess? – Have you given way to anger?”
– Fr Gebhard, 1952