Examination of Conscience

“Christ alone is the measure and the scale that you must use to evaluate your own life.”

John Paul II to the Young people of Ireland – Galway – 1979.

The following questions are to help us reflect upon what we need mercy for. The questions come from Pope Francis’ booklet Safeguard Your Heart, which was distributed in Rome after the recitation of the Angelus, on February 22, 2015.

About God
Do I turn to God only in my need?
Do I attend Mass on Sunday and holy days of obligation?
Do I begin and end the day with prayer?
Have I taken the name of God, the Blessed Virgin, or the saints in vain?
Have I been ashamed to say that I am a Christian?
What am I doing to grow spiritually?
How do I grow spiritually? When?
Do I resist God’s will? Do I insist that he does things my way?

About my neighbour
Do I know how to forgive, share with and help my neighbour?
Have I slandered, stolen from or scorned the poor and defenceless?
Am I envious, hot-tempered or prejudiced?
Do I care for the poor and the sick?
Am I honest and fair with everyone, or do I foster a “throwaway culture”?
Have I led others to do evil?
Do I observe the marriage and family morality taught in the Gospel?
How do I fulfil my responsibility for my children’s education?
Do I honour and respect my parents?
Have I rejected a newly conceived life?
Do I respect the environment?
Do I respect my neighbours property?

About myself
Am I a believer who is somewhat worldly and only somewhat believing?
Do I overindulge in eating, drinking, smoking, or being entertained?
Am I overly concerned about my physical well-being and my possessions?
How do I use my time?
Am I lazy?
Do I desire to be served?
Do I love and safeguard purity in my heart, thoughts and deeds?
Do I plot vengeance or harbor resentments?
Am I gentle and humble? A peacemaker?

Now we will examine ourselves about the concrete actions that mercy requires and by which we will be judged: The following questions come from the document Misericordiae Vultus:

Have I given food to the hungry and drink to the thirsty?
Have I welcomed the stranger and clothed the naked?
Have I set aside time and had the courage to visit the sick and the imprisoned?
Have I helped anyone be released from doubts that make him or her fearful and that are often the source of loneliness?
Have I supported the education of others, especially the young?
Have I instructed those who are far from God about the need for conversion?
Have I been a neighbour to someone who is lonely and afflicted?
Have I forgiven those who offend me and resisted every kind of resentment and hate?
Have I been patient with others based on the example of God who is so patient with us?
Have I commended my brothers and sisters to prayer?


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