Preparation for Confession (Examination of conscience)
To prepare yourself for the sacrament of Reconciliation, you can call to mind what God has done for you. Ask yourself : ‘When did I go against God’s love?’ The following questions can help you.
My relationship with God
- Have I taken time to pray? How? Did I pray because I wanted to or because I felt obliged? Have I prayed regularly?
- What have I done to learn something about God in order to advance in my relationship with him? Was it enough?
- Have I regularly attended Mass and community prayer? With what attitude?
- Have I shown respect for God in my life? In my manner of speaking and my way of acting?
- How have I treated God’s creation? Have I wasted things? Have I done enough to reduce my ecological footprint (for example by taking public transport or by paying attention to my waste)?
My relationship with others
- How have I treated my family and friends? Have I helped them when needed? Have I told the others where I went and did I back on time for our community life? Have I brought peace or did I contribute to unrest? Have participated in bullying at work or at school? Have I asked forgiveness for my mistakes? Have I forgiven those who hurt me?
- How did I behave at school? How have I treated my teachers? Have I paid attention in class? Have I wasted my time? Have I done my homework conscientiously?
- How did I behave at work? How have I treated my colleagues? Was I always ready to help them? Have I wasted the time of my employer?
- How have I treated people I did not know? Have I assisted those who needed help?
- Was I always cordial and courteous? Have I kept my promises? Have I cheated or did I lie? Have I spoken ill of someone?
- Have I shared my goods and talents with those in need? Have I given my time and energy to others?
- Have I used my friends or my family for my own benefit? Have I made fun of them? Have I made an effort to understand their difficulties and our differences?
- Have I acted without asking anything in return? Have I acted quietly, without asking for attention for what I did or gave?
My relationship with myself
- Am I happy to be who I am? Have I seen myself as a creation of God?
- Have I mainly focused on what is negative in me? Have I paid too much attention to my appearance and how others see me? Have I spent too much time or money on myself, on fashion, electronics or other things?
- Did I want to be popular and seen in a positive light? Was I too proud or too content with myself?
- Have I taken care of my physical, emotional and spiritual well-being? Have I taken enough rest?
- How did I make my choices? Consciously or because everyone else did it? Or have I avoided making a choice because it was the easiest way? Have I asked God’s help to make good choices?
- How have I treated my body? Have I maintained my purity? Did I disrespect my sexuality? Have I restrained myself in a healthy and spiritual way? Have I hurt my body voluntarily? Have I used drugs, abused sugar, tobacco, alcohol…? Have I exercised enough, without exaggeration?
- Have I taken care of my personal development and my education, diligently and without exaggerating? Have I finished what I had to do?
- Now think of the most important things that you want to ask forgiveness for.
- Do you want God to become part of your life again? Ask him!
- What particular grace do you want to ask from God to help you improve yourself in order to live closer to him in daily life?
You can now go to a priest to receive God's forgiveness in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Do not worry: the priest will guide and help you. See question 3.39 for some tips.