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
Another great post.
Bless me Father for I have sinned, it has been _____ since my last confession.
Tell all your sins no matter how small even imperfections.
Confess what you have done and what you have failed to do.
Think of the following:
The Corporal Works of Mercy
Feed the hungry. Shelter the homeless.
Give drink to the thirsty. Visit the sick.
Clothe the naked. Visit the imprisoned.
Bury the dead.
The Spirtual Works of Mercy
Help the Sinner. Bear wrongs patiently.
Teach the ignorant. Forgive injuries.
Counsel the doubtful. Comfort the sorrowful.
Pray for the living and the dead.
Someone made the point that it would take a long time after going through this list. The confession of venial sins in the Confessional is not necessary. HOWEVER, if we desire to grow spiritually, we grow in steps. Early in our walk, we will figure out where we fall often.
By figuring out our "core" sin, the one we return to often, we can eliminate it. This is the purpose of confessing venial sins in Confession - to help eliminate their re-commission.
An excellent and timely post! We received the sacrament last Saturday. And the links to examining one's conscience are always appreciated.
Ping! You may have seen this already, but it bears repeating! ;-)
Marked for reference. Thanks.
Thank you for this, NYer. Merry Christmas.
This wonderful and practical little booklet explains clearly and thoroughly how to make a good Confession--but in much greater detail than covered in most catechisms. It includes an Examination of Conscience (plus a discussion of lax, scrupulous and doubtful conscience), contrition and its necessary qualities, avoiding the near occasions of sin, the actual Confession of sins to the priest, and the penance given by the priest. This booklet also explains perfect and imperfect contrition and how to make acts of perfect contrition. It then considers sacrilegious Confession, how to rectify a bad Confession and the reasons for General Confession. Confession of venial sins is also discussed, as well as the many, unheralded benefits of frequent Confession.
After these beautiful, clear explanations, the booklet then guides the reader through preparation for a good Confession, including an Examination of Conscience based on the Ten Commandments of God, the Six Precepts of the Church, the Seven Capital Sins, the duties of one's particular state of life, and the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy. Also included are considerations to excite contrition and prayers before and after Confession.
This is truly a most valuable little handbook about Confession, packed with the traditional teachings of the Church on the Sacrament of Penance--a Sacrament which is both the salvation of those in mortal sin and a much-neglected and easy means of growth in holiness for all Catholics.
Published by TAN Books and Publishers
I try to keep a few on hand to give away.