The Church encourages Catholics to make regular use of the confessional, especially during Lent. Pope Francis recently shared some tips for preparing to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation through a 28-page booklet released by the Vatican on Feb. 22, the first Sunday of Lent.
The examination of conscience, which the pope said would help Catholics “confess well,” includes the following questions:
- Do I attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation?
- Do I begin and end the day with prayer?
- Am I embarrassed to show that I am a Christian?
- Am I part worldly and part believer?
- Do I only turn to God when I’m in need?
- Do I rebel against God’s plan?
- Am I honest and fair with everyone?
- Am I envious, hot-tempered, biased?
- Do I dream of revenge, hold grudges?
- In my marital and family relations, do I uphold morality as taught in the Gospels?
- Do I honor and respect my parents?
- Have I refused newly conceived life? Have I snuffed out the gift of life? Have I helped do so?
- Do I respect the environment, or do I fuel the “throwaway culture?”
- Do I overdo it with eating, drinking, smoking and amusements?
- Am I overly concerned about my [body], my possessions?
- How do I use my time? Am I lazy?
- Do I want to be served?
- Am I meek, humble and a builder of peace?