• Is God the center of my life? Do I believe that God loves me and forgives me, no matter what I have done? Are there any "false gods" in my life (like money, work, pleasure, success, power, superstition)?
• Do I speak God's name with reverence and respect? Do I pray frequently? Do I take time to reflect on God's presence and God's direction in my life?
• Do I live as a person of faith? Am I growing in my understanding of Jesus' message and the beliefs of the Christian community? Do I participate as fully as I can in the spiritual and sacramental life of the Church, particu-larly in Sunday Mass? Do I respond to sorrows and disappointments through the eyes of faith?
• Am I faithful to my conscience? Do I inform my conscience according to the teachings of the Church?
• Am I understanding, compassionate and respectful to other people? Do I respect other persons or groups of people, regardless of their gender, age, race, religion, sexual orientation, social, economic or legal status? Do I refuse to take advantage of other people or groups of people?
• Do I promote reconciliation and understanding? Am I willing to forgive and accept forgiveness? Do I accept responsibility for my mistakes? Do I express feelings like anger or disappointment in constructive and appropriate ways? Am I holding a grudge or harboring feelings of hate toward anyone?
• Am I faithful and supportive to the people with whom I share special relationships? Do I honor and respect my family? Do I give good example and guidance to children? Am I supportive and helpful to my brothers and sisters, in-laws, and other members of my extended family?
• Do I take care of my body and avoid activities or substances which endanger my health? Do I express my sexuality in a way that is consistent with my dignity as a human being and a child of God? Do I respect the sexuality of others in a way that is consistent with their dignity as human beings and children of God?
• Do I respect authority? Do I confront authority in a responsible way when I think it is wrong?
• Do I tell the truth? Do I seek the truth? Am I fair in my judgment and actions? Am I open to other opinions and perspectives? Do I gossip or speak critically of others without giving them an opportunity to explain themselves?
• Do I respect the rights and property of others? Do I steal?
• Am I jealous of what others do or have? Am I unnecessarily competitive? Am I considerate with co-workers, faculty or other students? Do I share my time, talents, possessions and financial resources in a way which benefits other people, not just myself? Do I use my leadership abilities or my authority for the good of all and in a spirit of justice?
• Do I recognize my responsibility for the well-being of entire human community and the earth on which we life? Does my lifestyle represent a fair consumption of resources and an active effort to preserve the environment?
• Do I support policies and leaders who will work to make our government responsive to the needs and rights of all, especially the poor and disadvantaged? Do I support local, national and international organizations which promote understanding, peace, justice and development?
• • •
When you have completed the examination above, review what you have learned by asking yourself these questions:
• What does this say about my relationship to God, to others, and to
• What patterns or habits do I detect in my behavior?
• What bad attitudes or faulty perceptions lie behind my actions?
• In what ways am I growing as a Christian?
• In what ways do I need to grow more?
• What do I want or need to change about my life right now?
• • •
The following examination of conscience is based on a booklet "Safeguard Your Heart" distributed by Pope Francis after his Angeles address in February, 2015.
• Do I turn to God only in my need?
• Do I attend Mass on Sunday and holy days of obligation?
• Do I begin and end the day with prayer?
• Have I taken the name of God, the Blessed Virgin, or the saints in vain?
• Have I been ashamed to say that I am a Christian?
• What am I doing to grow spiritually? How do I grow spiritually? When?
• Do I resist God’s will?
• Do I insist that he does things my way?
About my neighbor
• Do I know how to forgive, to share, and to help my neighbor?
• Have I slandered, stolen from, or scorned the poor and defenseless?
• Am I envious, hot-tempered, or prejudiced?
• Do I care for the poor and the sick?
• Am I embarrassed by my brother’s body or my sister’s flesh?
• Am I honest and fair with everyone, or do I foster a “throw-away culture”?
• Have I led others to do evil?
• Do I observe the spousal and family morality taught in the Gospel?
• How do I fulfill my responsibility for my children’s education?
• Do I honor and respect my parents?
• Have I rejected a newly conceived life?
• Have I extinguished the gift of life?
• Have I helped others to do that?
• Do I respect the environment?
• Am I a believer who is somewhat worldly and only somewhat believing?
• Do I over-indulge in eating, drinking, smoking and being entertained?
• Am I overly concerned about my physical well-being and my possessions?
• How I do use my time?
• Am I lazy?
• Do I desire to be served?
• Do I love and safeguard purity in my heart, thoughts and deeds?
• Do I plot vengeance or harbor resentments?
• Am I gentle and humble? A peace-maker?
• Have I given food to the hungry and drink to the thirsty?
• Have I welcomed the stranger and clothed the naked?
• Have I set aside time and had the courage to visit the sick and the imprisoned?
• Have I helped anyone be released from doubts that make them fearful and that are often the source of loneliness?
• Have I participated in overcoming ignorance by supporting education, especially for the young?
• Have I told those who live in sin about the need for conversion?
• Have I been a neighbor to someone who is lonely and afflicted?
• Have I forgiven those who offend me and resisted every kind of resentment and hate?
• Have I been patient with others based on the example of God who is so patient with us?
• Have I commended my brothers and sisters to prayer?
• • •
Life and Dignity of the Human Person
• Do I respect the life and dignity of every human person from conception through natural death?
• Do I recognize the face of Christ reflected in all others around me whatever their race, class, age, or abilities?
• Do I work to protect the dignity of others when it is being threatened?
• Am I committed to both protecting human life and to ensuring that every human being is able to live in dignity?
Call to Family, Community, and Participation
• Do I try to make positive contributions in my family and in my community?
• Are my beliefs, attitudes, and choices such that they strengthen or undermine the institution of the family?
• Am I aware of problems facing my local community and involved in efforts to find solutions? Do I stay informed and make my voice heard when needed?
• Do I support the efforts of poor persons to work for change in their neighborhoods and communities?
• Do my attitudes and interactions empower or disempower others?
Rights and Responsibilities
• Do I recognize and respect the economic, social, political, and cultural rights of others?
• Do I live in material comfort and excess while remaining insensitive to the needs of others whose rights are unfulfilled?
• Do I take seriously my responsibility to ensure that the rights of persons in need are realized?
• Do I urge those in power to implement programs and policies that give priority to the human dignity and rights of all, especially the vulnerable?
Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
• Do I give special attention to the needs of the poor and vulnerable in my community and in the world?
• Am I disproportionately concerned for my own good at the expense of others?
• Do I engage in service and advocacy work that protects the dignity of poor and vulnerable persons?
The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers
• As a worker, do I give my employer a fair day’s work for my wages? As an owner, do I treat workers fairly?
• Do I treat all workers with whom I interact with respect, no matter their position or class?
• Do I support the rights of all workers to adequate wages, health insurance, vacation and sick leave? Do I affirm their right to form or join unions or worker associations?
• Do my purchasing choices take into account the hands involved in the production of what I buy? When possible, do I buy products produced by workers whose rights and dignity were respected?
• Does the way I spend my time reflect a genuine concern for others?
• Is solidarity incorporated into my prayer and spirituality? Do I lift up vulnerable people throughout the world in my prayer, or is it reserved for only my personal concerns?
• Am I attentive only to my local neighbors or also those across the globe?
• Do I see all members of the human family as my brothers and sisters?
Care for God’s Creation
• Do I live out my responsibility to care for God’s creation?
• Do I see my care for creation as connected to my concern for poor persons, who are most at risk from environmental problems?
• Do I litter? Live wastefully? Use energy too freely? Are there ways I could reduce consumption in my life?
• Are there ways I could change my daily practices and those of my family, school, workplace, or community to better conserve the earth’s resources for future generations?
(Courtesy of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops)
• • •
1. Do I believe that our God is “a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness”?
2. Do I believe that “Jesus Christ is the face of the Father’s mercy”?
3. Do I believe that mercy “is a wellspring of joy, serenity and peace”?
4. Do I believe that “our salvation depends on mercy”?
5. Do I believe that mercy “is not opposed to justice” but “expresses God’s way of reaching out to the sinner, offering him a new chance to look at himself, convert, and believe"?
6. Do I show mercy to the guilty and innocent alike?
7. Do I show mercy to those who are hungry or thirsty?
8. Do I show mercy to those who are in need of appropriate clothing and adequate shelter?
9. Do I show mercy to those who are in prison, to the families of those in prison, and to ex-offenders?
10. Do I show mercy to those who are sick, infirm or alone?
11. Do I show mercy to those who are dying, those who have died and to their families?
12. Do I show mercy by supporting public policies which address the needs of the poor, the homeless, the elderly, and those without adequate employment or health care?
13. Do I show mercy by giving encouragement and support to sinners?
14. Do I show mercy by instructing the uninformed and counseling the doubtful?
15. Do I show mercy by comforting those who are sorrowful and discouraged?
16. Do I show mercy by supporting faith communities and organizations which serve the spiritual needs of God’s people?
17. Do I show mercy by being patient to those in error and forgiving those who have offended or harmed me?
18. Do I show mercy by recognizing my own weaknesses, accepting my imperfections, and asking forgiveness from those I have offended or harmed?
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