An Examination of Conscience is the best preparation for a good confession:
Make a list of the behaviors or attitudes you would like to change. Then commend them to God, asking for strength. In Him you can do it!!
The Ten Commandments:
1. I am the Lord your God: You shall have no strange gods before me. Do I love anybody or anything more than God??
Do I give God time everyday for prayer? Do I seek to love him with my whole heart? Have I been involved with superstitious practices? Have I been involved with the occult? Do I seek to surrender myself to God’s Word as taught by the Church? Have I ever received Communion in a state of mortal sin? Have I deliberately told a lie in Confession or have I withheld a mortal sin from the priest in Confession?
2. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
Have I used God’s name in vain: lightly or carelessly? Have I been angry with God? Have I wished evil upon another person? Have I insulted a sacred person or abused a sacred object?
3. Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day.
Have I deliberately missed Mass on Sunday or holy days of obligation? Have I tried to observe Sunday as a family day and a day of rest? Do I do needless work on Sunday?
4. Honor your father and your mother.
Do I honor and obey my parents? Have I neglected my duties to my spouse and children? Have I given my family good religious example? Do I try to bring peace into my home life? Do I care for my aged and infirm relatives?
Do I respect all lawfully constituted authority?
5. You shall not kill.
Have I had an abortion or encouraged anyone to have an abortion? Have I physically harmed anyone? Have I abused alcohol or drug? Did I give scandal to anyone, thereby leading them into sin? Have I been angry or resentful? Have I harbored hatred in my heart? Have I mutilated myself through any form of sterilization? Have I encouraged or condoned sterilization?
6. You shall not commit adultery.
Have I been faithful to my marriage vows in thought or action? Have I engaged in any sexual activity outside of marriage? Have I used any method of contraception or artificial birth control in marriage? Has each sexual act in my marriage been open to the transmission of new life? Have I been guilty of masturbation? Have I sought to control my thoughts? Have I respected all members of the opposite sex, or have I thought of other people as objects? Have I been guilty of any homosexual activity? Do I seek to be chaste in my thoughts, words and actions? Am I careful to dress modestly?
7. You shall not steal.
Have I stolen what is not mine? Have I returned or made restitution for what I have stolen? Do I waste time at work, school or at home? Do I gamble excessively, thereby denying my family of their needs? Do I pay my debts promptly? Do I seek to share what I have with the poor?
8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
Have I lied? Have I gossiped? Have I spoken behind someone else's back? Am I sincere in my dealing with what concerns others? Am I critical, negative or uncharitable in my thoughts of others? Do I keep secret what should be kept confidential? Do I expose the faults of others?
9. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.
Have I consented to impure thoughts? Have I caused them by impure reading, movies, conversations or curiosity? Do I seek to control my imagination? Do I pray at once to banish impure thoughts and temptations? [The Name of Jesus is my Armor of Protection. 021918].
10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.
Am I jealous of what other people have? Do I envy the families or possessions of others? Am I greedy or selfish? Are material possessions the purpose of my life? Do I trust that God will care for all my material and spiritual needs?
In 1 Corinthians 13: 4 - 7, we see the attributes of love.
This is how God loves us.
Is this how you love yourself? Your neighbor?
"4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
6. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
7. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." (1 Corinthians 13: 4 - 7).
The fruit of the Spirit is:
Character of a Christian growing in grace and love:
✅ They speak the truth in love at all times
✅ They are good listeners
✅ They hardly take offense
✅ They are quick to forgive
✅ They are reliable
✅ They are supportive
✅ They have appetite for prayer and fasting
✅ They rely on the Word of God
✅ The more God lifts them up, the more they become humble
✅ They love people and they are compassionate
✅ They respect people and are very sensitive to people's feelings
✅ They have a lot of patience and they are not short tempered
✅ They fear God
✅ They give honour where it is due
✅ They have good leadership skills
✅ They are hospitable
✅ They are not carried away by all kinds of teachings
✅ They are good followers
✅ They have a sacrificial spirit
✅ They don't gossip and look down on people
✅ They have faith
✅ They take part in church activities and attend church regularly
✅ They are clean in every aspect of life
✅ Their spirits are sensitive, they hate sin
✅ They don't act holier than Thou.
Eusebius, a 3rd century church father, offered the following prayer as instruction for his fellow Christians:
"May I be no man's enemy, and may I be the friend of that which is eternal and abides. May I never quarrel with those nearest me: and if I do, may I be reconciled quickly. May I love, seek, and attain only that which is good. May I wish for all men's happiness and envy none. May I never rejoice in the ill-fortune of one who has wronged me. When I have done or said what is wrong, may I never wait for the rebuke of others, but always rebuke myself until I make amends. May I win no victory that harms either me or my opponent. May I reconcile friends who are angry with one another. May I never fail a friend who is in danger. When visiting those in grief may I be able by gentle and healing words to soften their pain. May I respect myself. May I always keep tame that which rages within me. May I accustom myself to be gentle, and never be angry with people because of circumstances. May I never discuss who is wicked and what wicked things he has done, but know good men and follow in their footsteps."
Do you seek to live peaceably and charitably with all?
"Lord Jesus, my heart is cold. Make it warm, compassionate, and forgiving towards all, even those who do me harm. May I only think and say what is pleasing to you and be of kind service to all I meet."
"O God, author of every mercy and of all goodness, who in fasting, prayer and almsgiving
have shown us a remedy for sin,
look graciously on this confession of our lowliness, that we, who are bowed down by our conscience, may always be lifted up by your mercy.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen." (Collect - Sunday Mass).
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.