Skip to comments.How To Make a Good Confession (especially if you haven't gone in years)
Posted on 12/20/2005 11:38:54 AM PST by NYer
click here to read article
This pamphlet may be ordered here .
very timely and appreciated. The family is going this evening.
This is what held me back for many years. Thanks to the Internet and some truly awesome resources, discovering our sins is much easier. As we prepare for the glorious birth of our Lord, the final step should be to purge ourselves of sin. Mortal sins should be confessed first. Here is an examination of the less grievous sins.
Venial Sins and Imperfections*
* Imperfections are not sins so they do not need to be confessed. No distinction is made on this sheet between venial sins and imperfections because it is not always easy to make the distinction. Some things are imperfections because they are very small, other things are imperfections because they are dispositions of the soul and not willful actions or failures, still others because they are habitual.
1. I am the Lord your God. You shall not have strange gods before me.
- Failure to pray on a daily basis
- Not trying to love God with my whole mind, heart, soul and strength
- Trying to control things rather than seek God’s will
- Entertaining doubts against the Faith
- Failing to seek out or learn the teachings of the Church
- Indifference or ingratitude to God
- Lukewarmness in the relationship with God
- Not trying to grow spiritually; being content with mediocrity
- Acedia (spiritual sloth)
- Putting other things or people before God, e.g., TV, radio, sports, hobbies, etc.
- Attachment to human respect or affection, i.e., caring more about what others think than what God thinks in order to fit in or be liked
- Not trusting God
- Failure to fulfill the duties of one’s state in life
- Playing Dungeons and Dragons or similar games
- Tempting God
- Being angry at God
- Embarrassment of being Catholic
- Failure to defend the Church when ridiculed
- Failure to support the work of the Church monetarily and/or with time and ability
- Not taking part in the work of evangelization
- Being willfully distracted at Mass or in prayer
- Putting off confession needlessly
- Failing to accept or offer up suffering
- Refusing or denying the mercy of God
- Not trying to practice recollection or the frequent remembrance of God’s presence
- Failure to pray when tempted
- Failure to examine one’s conscience daily
- Giving into depression, self pity or self deprecating thoughts
2. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
- Using the Lord’s name lightly, in surprise or in anger (habitual, not thinking)
- Cursing thoughtlessly
- Using the names of Mary, a Saint, the Pope or other sacred persons irreverently
- Using vulgar or inappropriate language
- Telling bad jokes about sacred persons or objects
- Speaking badly of the Church
- Inappropriate or irreverent use of Scripture
3. Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day.
- Doing unnecessary work on Sunday
- Failing to keep Sunday as a day for family and recreation
- Failing to spend extra time on Sunday in prayer and study of the Faith
- Allowing sports or other schedules to dictate the Sunday schedule
- Being irreverent in church
- Not paying attention or participating at Mass
- Coming late to Mass or leaving early without a serious reason
- Desecrating the day by sinful amusements, bad company, inappropriate entertainment, etc.
4. Honor your father and mother.
- Fighting with siblings
- Disobedience to parents or authorities
- Failure to give proper respect to parents or those in authority
- Treating those under one’s authority disrespectfully
- Failure to respect the dignity of children
- Speaking badly about parents
- Speaking badly about children
- Speaking badly about one’s spouse
- Neglecting duties toward spouse or children
- Failing to give good example to one’s family
- Not trying to cultivate peace in the family
- Taking one’s spouse for granted
- Making fun of or failing to help the elderly or handicapped
- Not praying for those entrusted to your care
- Failing to pray for those in authority over you, e.g., parents, teachers, employers, government officials, etc.
- Failure to teach children adequately about God and the spiritual life
- Lack of gratitude toward parents
- Nagging spouse or children
- Treating adult children like minors
- Meddling in the affairs of married children
- Too lax with rules, boundaries and discipline
- Too strict with rules, boundaries and discipline
- Breaking just civil laws without serious reason
- Being ashamed of or embarrassed about parents
5. You shall not kill.
- Pride, arrogance
- Stubbornness without good reason
- Failure to apologize
- Fighting or arguing over slight matters
- Using obscene or vulgar gestures
- Harboring a grudge
- Seeking revenge or retaliation
- Wishing evil upon another
- Listening to bad music
- Excessive watching of television
- Excessive playing of computer games
- Excessive use of the internet
- Watching TV or movies that promote sex or violence
- Playing computer games that promote sex or violence
- Refusing to forgive another
- Intemperance (overeating or drinking too much)
- Driving carelessly
- Failing to care for one’s health
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Abusing medications
- Sloth (laziness)
- Lack of puncuality
- Failure to respect the dignity of self or others
- Giving scandal to another
- Treating another unjustly
- Failure to take medications if such are necessary
- Doing things willfully to anger others
- Violating friendships
- Failure to pray for deceased parents or relatives
- Using the “silent treatment” on others
- Failure to pray for sinners
6. You shall not commit adultery.
- Lack of custody of the eyes (looking inappropriately at others)
- Allowing the heart to stray from one’s spouse
- Dressing somewhat immodestly
- Acting or carrying oneself immodestly
- Treating others as objects
- Failure to respect persons of the opposite sex
- Seeking wrongful attention from another
- Selfishness in marital intimacy
- Failure to be open to life without serious reason
- Keeping bad company
7. You shall not steal.
- Attachments to persons or things
- Theft of small or inexpensive items
- Willful Failure to return borrowed items
- Wasting time
- Failure to pay debts promptly
- Failing to practice charity or to help the poor
- Squandering money on needless things or pursuits
- Not keeping a promise
8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
- Spreading rumors or tale bearing
- Talking behind another’s back
- Being negative, critical or uncharitable in thought regarding others
- Making rash judgments
- Being unjustly suspicious
- Failure to seek to restore the good name of another whom you have injured through speech
- Cheating in games, school work, etc.
- Speaking unkindly to or about others
- Exaggerating the truth
- Bragging or boasting
- Complaining, whining or attention seeking
9. You shall not desire your neighbor’s wife.
- Telling or listening to impure or vulgar jokes or stories
- Brief entertainment of impure thoughts or fantasies
- Not trying to control the imagination
- Curiosity or playing with temptation
- Seeking out or looking at persons or pictures which are immodest
10. You shall not desire your neighbor’s goods.
- Envy (sadness or anger at the good fortune of another)
- Jealousy (desire for the goods of another)
- Not trusting that God will provide for all material and spiritual needs
- Attachment to riches or material goods
Awesome list, NYer!
Our parish is also having Reconciliation this evening, after the Christmas Novena.
Is that a pamphlet that you can just hand to the Priest?
Both of these lists were compiled by Fr. Robert Altieri and have been given an imprimatur. They are an excellent guide to see beyond our own pride (hey, I'm very guilty of that!) and discern our failings. Approaching Confession is then refreshing. It also helps to remind ourselves that the priest acts as 'alter christus'. It's taken years of work to make this all click in my head.
If your priest hasn't been to Confession for a while, what could it hurt him?
That's a really good list. Thanks NYer. I think most of us are guilty of something under most of these on a regular basis. I know I am.
According to NYer's post above....you will be keeping the confessional busy for hours.
But I went in with some of these from a really good examination of conscience and was told by the (wonderful, btw) priest that I was too hard on myself and they are not mortal sins. He told me to stick with the ten commandments and not to look too hard. If something is repetative and I am intentionally doing it to hurt God, it's a mortal sin but something like over indulging on goodies for the Holidays is not.
I think that some of these lists just go too far. Especially when there are some parishes that finding confessions is a hit or miss thing. I think that it gives undo guilt and may keep someone from the Eucharist when a Good Act of Contrition will cover it.
Okay, flame away, I'm ducking.
Are you thinking of scrupulosity? It's classified under OCD.
Fortunately for me, I just have to deal with my temper. (-;
(And Father's constant admonition to pray!)
Mortal sins must be confessed, while venial sins should be confessed (but don't have to be). I think you are right to confess them. St John Vianney and St Padre Pio certainly would tell you to confess them. Maybe your wonderful priest was just a little tired that day.
Hope you have a merry Christmas. And thanks to those who posted these examinations.
"...over indulging on goodies for the Holidays is not."
LOL! After a marathon baking session today, I have to ask when the Christmas fast begins..tomorrow...please? Or Friday?
So smoking is a mortal sin? I had better tell my mother in laws priest. He likes his pipe.
>>Maybe your wonderful priest was just a little tired that day.<<
Maybe. He was one of 12 Priests pulled in for our Christmas confessions. We all love him because he was a child at our parish, he was assigned to us then moved to another parish. His line was the longest of all.
Along with that, we still go into confessionals. I know many people are comfortable with face to face but I'm not. Many older people are not either from what I can see from our waiting lines. And this was the morning session. The evening session is ALWAYS packed.
More than anything, I was there for the Sacramental Pennance connected with the Plenary Indulgence. I really don't want to just walk in and say, "I'm just here for the Indulgence!" It sounds so shallow.
I am very blessed to be at a parish that offers confessions 1/2 hour before every Holy Mass. Six on Sunday, three on weekdays. While I hear stories of people coming to church for confession and finding no priest, I can go every day. Thank You Holy Lord!
I would say Friday at Sundown, but who am I?
(eat quickly! ;-)
>>Is that a pamphlet that you can just hand to the Priest?<<
A checklist! That's the ticket!
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