Immaculate Conception Ukrainian Catholic Church

An Examination of Conscience for Adults

by Fr. Roman Bobesiuk

A good examination of conscience can be a great help in making a new start in the life of faith. We use an examination of conscience to help call to mind our sins and failings during a period of quiet reflection before approaching the Priest in Confession.
A good Christian examination of conscience needs to be thorough. This will help you to consider what sins you are guilty of and make you aware of sins you might not realize as sins. It’s also a chance to develop your conscience. This is a critical aid for any Catholic.

To make an examination:
• Set aside some quiet time for reflection.
• Start by praying to the Holy Spirit, asking for help in making a good examination to prepare for Confession.
• Read through the matters of this list and honestly reflect on your behavior for each.
• You may want to take this list or some brief notes (in secrecy to avoid scandal) to Confession to help you remember things.
• Remember that a mortal sin is committed when :

1. Full Knowledge that the act (thought, word or omission) was contrary to God’s will (sinful) is possessed by the offender;
2. Full Consent (with intentionality; i.e., not forced) is held by the one committing the sin;
3. Grave Matter (anything under the Ten Commandments and the Precepts of the Church) is the circumstances of the sin. Not to belabor the point, but, there is a difference in grave matter between stealing $10 from a friend and stealing $10,000 from an orphanage.

If any of these three conditions are not met the sin is to be known as venial. It is a very good idea to confess venial sins as well, since these sins, like all sin, offend God Who deserves all of our love. Confessing venial sins helps us to be more sensitive to God and more faithful in our love to Him.

If all three conditions are met the sin is known as mortal.
Remember, ALL mortal sins must be confessed according to the kind (what type of sin) and the number of times committed for a valid confession. If one willingly withholds and conceals a sin in confession it is a sacrilege (which is another mortal sin), and it invalidates the absolution. Do not worry! Do not be afraid! Jesus wants you to tell him your sins with honesty and courageousness that he may remove the hurt from your heart and soul. Do not further steep yourself in sin by concealing sins in confession.
Also, it should be noted, the priest is bound under pain of grievous mortal sin and excommunication, if he ever reveals anything said in the confessional. No matter how grievous the sin, do not be afraid. Admit your failings openly and God will grant you His sweet gift of forgiveness.

Begin your examination with the time of your last confession. Try to recall whether you omitted anything from fear of embarrassment that needs to be confessed. With the help or the self-examination provided, call to mind all the sin you have committed since your last confession.


1. Putting God First: I am the Lord your God; you shall not have other gods before me.

Has God been the source, centre and hope of my life? Have I put myself, anyone or anything before God? Have I given to anyone or anything the love, honour and worship that belongs to God alone? Have I made an idol of any person, idea, occupation or thing? Have I failed to trust in God, His love and mercy? Have I failed to pray to God and to worship Him faithfully? Have I been thankful for God’s blessings? Have I doubted the Christian faith? Have I tried to serve God and keep His Commandments faithfully? Have I murmured or complained against God in adversities?

2. Respect for God: You shall not take the Name of the Lord your God in vain.

Do I have a deep and sincere respect for God and His Holy Name? Have I shown disrespect to God, either in word or deed? Have I dishonoured God’s Name in any way? Have I sworn a false oath? Have I broken any solemn promise or vow that was done before God? Have I cursed or used foul language?

3. Respect for the Lord’s Day: Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day.

Have I worshiped God faithfully on Sundays and major holy days? Have I helped others to do the same, or have I discouraged them? Have I worked or shopped unnecessarily on Sundays or major holy days? Have I caused others to do so? Have I spent the Lord’s Day in wholesome and edifying ways? Have I made time for family and friends?

4. Respect for Parents and Authority: Honour your father and mother.

Have I loved and respected my parents as I should? Have I neglected them, or failed to help them? Have l disobeyed them, deceived them or caused them pain by my words and deeds? Have I treated my family members with patience and love? Have I respected my teachers, superiors, employers (those who are in authority) as I should? Have I disobeyed or deceived them by my words or deeds? Have I treated fairly all those who have worked for me?

5. Respect for Human Life: You shall not kill.

Have I caused the harm, injury or death of anyone? Have I wished my own or anyone’s harm or death? Have I caused others to sin? Have I abused my health or the health of others by evil and intemperate living (i.e. drugs, alcohol, etc.)? Have l given way to anger or hatred? Have I failed to forgive anyone or harboured evil thoughts against them? Have I been cruel to anyone? Have I encouraged someone in procuring an abortion? Have I had an abortion?

6. & 9.Respect for Marriage: You shall not commit adultery. You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife.

Have I committed any sin of lust, alone or with others (masturbation, fornication, adultery)? Have I caused others to commit impure acts? Have I sinned by giving way to impure thoughts, words or conversations? Have I read immoral books or magazines, or delighted in obscenity of any kind? Have l associated with bad company or frequented placed of ill-repute? Do I maintain modesty and decency in dress? Have I practiced birth control/contraception?

7. & 10. Respect for Private Property: You shall not steal. You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbour.

Have l taken or kept anything that was not mine? Have l cheated anyone? Have I caused others to steal or cheat? Have I tried to find the owners of lost things I have found? Have I damaged or destroyed anything that belonged to another? Have I defrauded anyone of their rightful wages? Have I paid my debts? Have I worked honesty and conscientiously for my wages? Did I spend beyond my means? Do I give alms according to my capacity? Have I looked with envy, jealousy or hatred toward the possessions, talents or achievements of others? Have I desired the downfall or loss of others out of evil intent that I might benefit? Have I grieved that God has bestowed greater blessing on others than on me?

8. Respect for Truth: You shall not bear false witness.

Have I given false testimony against anyone? Have l spoken evil, told lies, or spread rumours about anyone? Have I unjustly accused someone? Have l disclosed to anyone the sins and faults of another? Have l betrayed the confidence of another? Have I made careless statements or done anything else to harm the good name and reputation of another person? Have I engaged in idle gossip, (discussing that which is doubtful as if it were true), hearsay and backbiting?


Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Have l truly recognized my complete dependence on God? Have I been proud, arrogant and self-righteous? Have I been selfish, greedy, possessive and self-seeking? Have I sought after status, recognition, power, material possessions and wealth?

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Have l endured difficulties and afflictions with faith and patience? Do I have compassion for the poor, the hungry, and addicted; the sick the lonely and the sinful of the world? Have I truly been sorrowful for my sins and faults?

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Am I gentle with others, or am I harsh in my behavior? Do I seek to dominate others at home, school, work, office, church and elsewhere? Have l lost my temper? Have I nursed hatred in my heart or the desire for revenge? Have I been impatient, resentful, bitter, unforgiving or insulting and abusive to others? Have l loved my enemies?

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

Do I thirst for holiness? Do I truly yearn for God’s Will to be done, in my life and in all things? Have I tried to cultivate a righteous and holy life through prayer, fasting, almsgiving, worship, the reading of Holy Scripture, frequent Confession and Communion? Have I been lukewarm in my faith? Have I been lazy, negligent or apathetical?

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

Have I been merciful to others? Have l turned away from someone who needed my help? Have I turned my back on someone poor, hungry, rejected, lonely and needy? Have I tried to understand and to forgive others? Have I been indifferent or judgmental?

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Do I love purity and honesty? Have I been dishonest in my speech or actions? Have the motives or intentions of my actions been evil or selfish? Have I given way to lust, impure thoughts, words or deeds? Have I been guilty of prejudice? Have I been hypocritical, pretentious or self-indulgent to sinful passions?

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall he called children of God.

Am I at peace with God? Do I have His peace in my heart? Have l been angry, aggressive or impatient? Do I foster peace at home, work, church and community? Have I been irritable or polemical? Have I caused division and discord? Is my criticism harmful and disruptive, or does it build up others in charity?

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Have I complained when persecuted for God’s sake? Have I prayed for my enemies? Have I failed to defend people who are fight for fear of humiliation or persecution? Have I had the courage to stand up for the truth despite criticism, ridicule or persecution? Am I afraid to witness my faith in Christ Jesus?

Blessed are you when they revile you and persecute you on my account; rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.

Is the joy of Christ in my heart, even in trying moments? Do I give thanks to God in all circumstances, or do I complain often? Have I been pessimistic, negative, despondent or despairing? Have I truly delighted in the promise of God’s treasures in heaven?


You may also like

215 Silliman St., San Francisco, CA 94134