Going to Confession

Examination of Conscience

Love the Lord your God with all your mind, with all your heart, with all your strength.

  • Have I kept the gift of faith in God?
  • Do I trust in God?
  • Have I prayed?
  • Have I observed the Lord’s Day by worshiping at Mass and resting from unnecessary work?
  • Have I respected God’s holy name?

Love your neighbor as yourself.

  • How have I extended love and respect to my family, my parents, my children, my nation?
  • Have I respected life from conception to natural death?
  • Done no harm to anyone?
  • What about anger or resentments or endangering others or myself?
  • Have I respected God’s gift of my sexuality?
  • Received that gift’s full expression to marriage and been open to generating new life?
  • What about thoughts about others?
  • Have I respected the goods of others?
  • Not taken anything nor damaged anything?
  • Worked honestly and justly compensated those who worked for me?
  • Upheld principles of justice?
  • Have I respected the truth by not lying and not damaging the reputation of others?
  • Have I been respectful of others and what they have in my thoughts or have lust, envy, and jealousy held a grip on me?
  • Have I cared for those in need through outreach and support?
  • Have I contributed to the common good of the society in which I live?

How to Make a Good Confession

The Sacrament of Penance/Reconciliation includes the following:

The priest greets us and we pray the Sign of the Cross. He invites us to trust in God.

Then the Penitent says, “Bless me Father for I have sinned….my last Confession was….”

We confess our sins. The priest may help and offer spiritual suggestions.

The priest gives us a penance to perform. Penance is an act of kindness or prayers to pray, or both.

The priest asks us to express our sorrow, usually by reciting the Act of Contrition (see below).

We receive absolution. The priest says, “I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” We respond: “Amen”.

The priest dismisses us by saying, “Go in peace.” We go forth to perform the act of penance he has given us.

Act of Contrition

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you, and I detest all my sins, because of your just punishments but most of all because they offend you, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve with the help of your grace, to sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin.