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Confession with Pope Francis: The 3-step outline for doing an Examination of Conscience


Giuseppe Cacace | AFP

Ary Waldir Ramos Diaz - published on 04/08/17

II. The Lord says: “Love one another as I have loved you.”

1. Do I truly love my neighbors, or do I treat them badly, using them for my own interests and treating them in a way that I would not want to be treated? Have I caused scandal with my words and my actions?

2. In my family life, have I contributed with patience and true love for the good and tranquility of others?

For each member of the family:

For children: Have I obeyed my parents? Have I respected and honored them? Have I helped them in their spiritual and material needs? Have I worked hard at school? Have I respected people in authority? Have I given a good example in every situation?

For parents: Have I looked out for my children’s Christian education? Have I given them a good example? Have I supported them and guided them with my authority?

For spouses: Have I always been faithful in my heart and actions? Have I been understanding during moments of stress or anxiety?

3. Do I know how to give from what is mine, without petty selfishness, to those who are poorer than me? To the extent that it depends on me, do I defend the oppressed and help the needy? Or do I treat my neighbor with pride or harshness, especially the poor, the weak, the old, the marginalized, and immigrants?

4. Am I aware of the mission that has been entrusted to me? Have I participated in works of apostolate and charity of the Church, and in my parish life and initiatives? Have I prayed and contributed to meeting the needs of the Church and of the world, for example: for the unity of the Church, for the evangelization of peoples, and for the establishment of justice and peace?

5. Do I have at heart the well-being and prosperity of the community in which I live, or do I care only for my personal interests? Do I participate, as much as I can, in initiatives that promote justice, public morality, peace, and works of charity? Do I fulfill my civic duties? Have I paid my taxes regularly?

6. Am I just, committed, honest at work, and willing to lend my services to the common good? Have I given fair pay to all those who work for me in any capacity? Have I been faithful to contracts and promises?

7. Have I been obedient and respectful to legitimate authorities?

8. If I have a responsibility or have management duties, do I seek only my own interests, or do I strive for the good of the others, with a spirit of service?

9. Have I practiced truthfulness and loyalty, or have I done harm to others with lies, slander, slurs, reckless judgments, and the revelation of secrets?

10. Have I attempted violence against the life and physical integrity of others? Have I offended their honor, or denied them what is rightfully theirs? Have I procured abortion or counseled a woman to abort? Have I remained silent in situations where I could have encouraged people to do good? In my married life, am I respectful of the teachings of the Church regarding openness to and respect for life? Have I done anything against my own physical integrity (for example, by sterilization)? Have I always been faithful with my mind as well as my body? Have I held on to hatred? Have I been conflictive? Have I used insults and offensive words, thus encouraging disagreements and rancor? Have I omitted to witness to the innocence of others, in a guilty and selfish way? While driving, have I put my life or that of others at risk?

11. Have I stolen? Have I been so unjust as to wish to steal from others? Have I damaged my neighbor’s belongings? Have I given back anything I might have taken, and made reparation for the damage done?

12. If people have done me harm, have I expressed my willingness to be reconciled and to forgive, out of love of Christ? Or have I harbored hatred and desire for revenge in my heart?

Read more:
I know we encounter Christ in confession, but I wasn’t expecting THIS!

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