Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!

        Revised: 16 February AD 2019
        Saint Gilbert of Semperingham, Abbot


Examination of Conscience


It is wise to make an examination of conscience, recalling one’s sins in an effort to develop genuine sorrow for offenses committed against Almighty God.  The religious soul will want to make a brief examination before bedtime each night.  This will make the examination before Confession so much easier.




    1st: “I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt not have strange gods before me.”  Have I engaged in superstitious practices?  Do I get involved with horoscopes, fortune tellers?  Attended non-Catholic worship services?  Made “gods” out of worldly things or persons, paying them attention due to God alone?


    2nd: “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.”  Have I used the names “God,” “Jesus,” “Christ,” or the many variations of these names in any but a holy manner?  Do I use other unbecoming language?  Do I bow my head when I hear the Holy Name?


    3rd: “Remember, thou, keep holy the Lord ’s Day.”  Have I intentionally missed Mass on any Sunday or Holy Day of Obligation?  Have I engaged in unnecessary physical labor on these days?  Do I keep these days in their intended spirit of prayer?


    4th: “Honor thy father and thy mother.”  Have I disobeyed the lawful commands of my parents, priests, teachers, or other superiors?  Do I always treat them with appropriate respect?  Do I encourage others to respect those of legitimate authority?  Do I provide for the care of my parents—perhaps other relatives—insofar as they require it?


    5th: “Thou shalt not kill.”  Have I unjustly injured another or taken his life? Do I respect the right to life from the moment of conception until natural death? Do I do things in a safe manner so as not to endanger those around me?  How about my driving?  Do I take proper care of my physical health and of the health of those for whom I am responsible?


    6th: “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” Have I engaged in sexual contact outside of marriage or in such a way as to sinfully prevent conception?  Do I read materials or watch television or movies or videos or engage in conversation that degrades marriage or fosters adulterous behavior?  Do I avoid placing myself in the occasion of sin, avoiding thoughts, persons, places and things which might cause me to sin against chastity?


    7th: “Thou shalt not steal.”  Have I unjustly taken or destroyed the property of another?  Do I do an honest day’s work for my day’s pay?  Do I pay my employees a “fair wage”?  Do I grant all men the rights due to them in justice, and urge others to act likewise?  Have I made restitution for anything I may have stolen or obtained through fraud?  Have I paid for anything I may have damaged?


    8th: “Thou shalt not bear false witness against they neighbor.”  Have I lied about others or even use the truth to harm them unjustly?  Have I unjustly kept information from others or tried to protect myself when guilty?  Have I attempted to repair whatever damage I have done by violating this commandment?


    9th: “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife.”  Have I given myself over to thoughts or actions of adultery or other impure behavior forbidden by this commandment?


    10th: “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods.”  Have I allowed myself to envy those around me because of their possessions, talents, appearance, social position, etc.?  Have I taken things from them or damaged them because of my envy?




    1st: “Assist at Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation.”  Have I missed Mass without serious reason?  Do I arrive on time and participate with attention and reverence?


    2nd: “Fast and abstain on the days appointed.”  Do I limit myself to one full meals and two smaller meals on fast days?  Do I avoid eating meat, including poultry on abstinence days?


    3rd:“Confess serious sins once a year” (usually during the Eastertide).  Have I made my annual Confession?  Shouldn’t I confess more often, in order to remain habitually in the state of God’s grace?


    4th: “Receive Holy Communion during the Eastertide.”  Have I received Holy Communion at least once between the first Sunday of Lent and Trinity Sunday?  (Shouldn’t I receive our Blessed Lord in Holy Communion more frequently?)


    5th:  “Contribute to the support of the Church.”  Do I contribute my share toward the descent upkeep of our local church, to Catholic education, and the Church’s missionary activities?  Do I attempt to return to God, through His Church, the tenth of my income (“tithe”) commanded in Sacred Scripture?


    6th:  “Obey the laws of the Church concerning marriage.”  Have I entered into or am I considering marriage outside of the Church?  Without a priest and two witnesses?  To someone already married?  To a close relative?  During the “forbidden” seasons of Advent and Lent?




    1st: Faith:  Have I sinned by refusing to believe what God has revealed to us through His Holy Church?  By participating in non-Catholic and other false religious services?  By adopting the attitude that “One religion is as good as another”?  By acting in a way that denies revelation?  By denying my Catholic Faith?


    2nd: Hope:  Have I sinned through despair, thinking that I cannot go to heaven and need not try?  Have I sinned through presumption, thinking that God will save me no matter what I do?  Am I grateful for my redemption?


    3rd:Charity:  Have I refused God the love to which He is sue?  Am I stingy with my prayer and devotions?  Have I withheld my love from my fellow man, whom I should love for the love of God?  Have I loved other people and possessions more than I love God?




    1st: Prudence:  Do I act without thinking?  Do I endanger the spiritual or physical well-being of those around me?  Of those for whom I am responsible?


    2nd: Justice:  Have I refused to honor the natural rights of others?  Unjustly treated them with contempt?  Tried to defraud them?  Do I insist that our public officials observe a high standard of justice?  Do I render to God and to Cæsar?


    3rd: Fortitude:  Do I maintain a positive attitude toward my religious and worldly duties in spite of difficulties?  Do I make use of the trials that come my way as a means of increasing my holiness, or do I let the devil use them for his own purposes?


    4th: Temperance:  Do I make use of material things in a rational way, rather than abusing them for the greatest pleasure of the moment?  Do I eat, drink, sleep, or recreate to excess or not enough?  Do I partake of these adequately for my own good?  Do I make proper use of my time, in general?


    5th: Piety:  Do I offer to God the worship which He is due?  Morning and night prayers, prayer before meals?  Frequent confession and Holy Communion?  Attendance at Mass when I am not obliged?  Have a genuine piety, or do I pray only when I am sure that others are observing me—to create a “pious image”?


    6th: Modesty:  Am I careful about my appearance, avoiding provocative styles that may lead others to sin?  Am I chaste in all my thoughts, actions, manners, and language, consistent with my state in life—married, single, religious?  Do I insist on modesty and chastity among my associates?  Do I pray to remain chaste?


    7th: Fear of the Lord:  Do I maintain a reverential fear of God?  Do I recognize my “nothingness” before God?  Am I aware that false pride is at the root of virtually all sin?  Am I more concerned with earning praise in heaven than on earth?





Sacramental Confession of Sins

After prayer and an examination of conscience, the penitent kneels in the confessional or wherever the confession is to be heard.


    Penitent:  Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.  It has been about ___ days (or weeks) since my last Confession.  I have/have not fulfilled the penance that was assigned to me.

    Priest:  May God bless you in the name of the Father,  +  and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

    Penitent:  These are my sins: (the penitent lists his sins, telling what he did wrong and approximately how many times).

    Priest:  At the end of the Confession the priest may choose to give advice, and will prescribe a penance, normally to be fulfilled before the next Confession, and then direct the penitent to make an Act of Contrition:



    Penitent:  O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven, and the pains of hell; but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life.  Amen.


While the penitent recites the act of contrition the priest will recite the following prayers in a low voice, usually in latin:

    Priest:  May almighty God have mercy on thee, and forgive thee all thy sins, and bring thee to life everlasting.

    Priest:  May the almighty and merciful God grant thee indulgence, absolution, and remission of all thy sins.

    Priest:  May our Lord Jesus Christ absolve thee, and by His authority I absolve thee from every bond of excommunication, (suspension,) and interdict, in proportion to my power and thy need.

    Priest:  Thereupon, I absolve thee from thy sins, in the name of the Father and of the Son, + and of the Holy Ghost.  Amen.   

    May the passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, the merits of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of all the saints, whatever good you shall have done, and evil you shall have endured, be to you unto remission of sins, increase of grace, and reward of eternal life.

    Go in peace, and may God bless you.


    All Catholics are urged to make frequent use of Sacramental Confession.  One of the most serious errors of our time is the notion that we rarely commit mortal sin.  The Sacrament and its graces are the best method we Catholics have for making sure that our venial sins do not become mortal sins.


By The Reverend Father Charles T. Brusca,
Feast of the Assumption, 15 August 1988, Pinellas Park, Florida


    Nihil Obstat:  The Reverend Father John G. Marochi, Censor Deputatis

    Imprimatur:  +John Joseph Humphries, Archbishop of Caer-Glow





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