Make an Examination of Conscience
based on the 10 Commandments
When have I cheated on God by loving myself or someone else more than I love Him?
When have I cheated on God by putting my own desires ahead of His?
Have I been lazy in my prayer time or Scripture study or other activities that would increase my spiritual growth?
God created me either male or female, and He does not make mistakes. Do I have difficulty accepting my sexual identity or the shape of the body He’s given me?
God created men and women to be equal in personal dignity. Have I degraded members of the opposite sex? Or of my own gender?
When did I cheat on my spouse by behaving as if I’m more valuable or more worthy of attention than he or she is?
Chastity in a sacramental marriage means that a husband and wife give themselves fully to each other for the rest of their lives. Have I chosen to keep any part of myself from my spouse, such as my sexuality, my fertility or my permanent commitment?
Is my marriage only civil, and not sacramental? If so, I have rejected Christ from being part of the union, and therefore it is not a valid marriage in His or the Church’s eyes.
Has my relationship with my spouse (or have any of my romantic relationships) failed to reflect to the world God’s love? Has our marriage publicly set a poor example of commitment and unconditional union?
If I’m divorced, did I sever what had once been a loving agreement, contracted in full freedom, and originally intended to be lifelong? (It is not a sin if the separation was made for the good of the spouses and the children due to extreme and radical incompatibility, and if the agreement made on the wedding day was not made lovingly and in full freedom. Nor have I sinned if my spouse abandoned me due to his or her own irresponsibility without any desire for reconciliation.)
Have I divorced and remarried civilly without obtaining an annulment? If so, I’m not validly married to the new spouse; in the eyes of God, I’m still married to my first spouse.
Do I dislike or reject the idea of making a life-time commitment to my spouse? Have I been unable to make such a commitment, even though on my wedding day I professed to do it? If so, I’m being untrue to my partner, to myself, and to God.
Have I committed fornication or adultery (sex outside of marriage)? This includes having sexual relations with my spouse before our wedding day, and remarriage without first getting an annulment from the Church.
Have I masturbated, which is having sex with myself instead of my spouse?
Lust is a disordered desire for—or an inordinate enjoyment of—sexual pleasure for its own sake, isolated from the desire to give love to my spouse for procreative and unitive purposes. Have I had lustful thoughts? Sinful touches? Impure glances?
Have I told any “dirty” jokes?
When did I allow my passions to control me, instead of using self-control for love of others under the guidance of God? This concerns sexual conduct, but it also relates to anger, spending money, being ruled by fear or impatience, etc.
Have I worn immodest clothing in public? Some people who saw me may have been sex addicts, and seeing me could have triggered their compulsion to go and act sinfully.
Have I read pornographic books or magazines? Or watched movies or TV shows that contained sexual scenes or impure plots?
Did I ever commit incest? Or have I abused anyone (including my spouse) by forcing intimate physical contact upon them?
If I am or if I know a homosexual person, am I failing to encourage chastity, healing, and God’s call to unite the difficulties of this condition to the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross?
Have I treated homosexuals without respect, compassion and sensitivity?
Next • 7th Commandment
A printable version is available at the end.
© 2000 by Terry A. Modica