Examination of Conscience

I have looked online for a good examination of conscience, and what I have found really concerns me. According to the ones I’ve found, no “regular Catholic” would ever NOT be in mortal sin.

Here are some examples from just one such examination:
Have doubts about your faith? SIN!
Not able (yet) to accept one of the Church’s teachings? SIN!
Don’t pray for at least 20 minutes every day? SIN!
Bought anything on a Sunday? SIN!
Disobedient to your husband (whatever that means)? SIN!
Had a Big Mac? SIN!
Made a decision on someone else’s advice? SIN!
Watched any R rated movies? SIN!

No wonder so many people come here all paranoid and scrupulous wondering if every little thing they’ve ever done or thought is a sin. :imsorry:

Is there a good examination of conscience that doesn’t make every little thing a mortal sin???

The USCCB recently issued at statement called God’s Gift of Forgiveness: A Pastoral Ehortation on the Sacrament of Penance & Reconciliation.

Here is a link to the USCCB page that has wonderful resources.

FWIW, I agree with you- many of the ones I have seen out there in cyber-space are crazy! :eek:

Can you please post the link to this examination of conscience you speak of? Before my reversion I scoured the Internet for a good and thorough examination of conscience, and what you describe never came up. Not every sin is a mortal sin, but society has become exceptionally desensitized to sin and how grave many common sins are. For example, now people treat cohabitation as a virtue and driving an SUV a mortal sin because they see cohabitation as a positive sign to marriage (though sociologists prove otherwise), and if you drive an SUV you’re polluting the environment and contributing to global warming. :eek: :rolleyes:

Citation? Link? No one can adequately respond to you unless you tell us what the source is. As others have said the USCCB and probably your own diocesan website has information and/or links to responsible, common sense, and spiritual examinations of conscience.

Googling the “wild west” of the internet often leads us into more confusion.

or perhaps you did not realize there were so many mortal sins out there? murder and stealing are not the only mortal sins, as many would like to think today. fornication, cohabitation, and abortion and using contraception are also a mortal sins, and there are thousands of others, whether other catholics agree or not. however do not forget the three conditions necessary for something to become a mortal sin. if one of the conditions is missing it is no longer a mortal sin. and alot of the things you listed are not mortal sins per say, many are just venial sins. its not a mortal sin to unintentionally have a little doubt about the Faith, but if you are not seeking answers in the right places and instead are feeding your doubt by reading material that slanders the Faith or increases your doubts, then you’re treading in bad territory.

examination of conscience books like you have gotten will not tell you what is mortal and what is venial because like i said, the situation is different for everyone and the 3 conditions for a mortal sin must be present. for one guy, he may know it is a sin to look at porn, so it would be a mortal sin for him. but if somehow another guy didnt know that because he was raised in a bad environment or what have you, then he necessarily isnt in mortal sin. so yes, it depends on the circumstance and the conditions. thats why these books dont list a column of mortal and venial sins. so alot of Catholics aren’t committing mortal sins everyday, (or perhaps they are idk because im not God) but examining your conscience daily helps you grown in holiness. you start to see your faults and realize that you are responsible for your sins, and not others. then you hopefully, try to change your ways and stop committing those sins. thus, you conquer your temptations and grow close to God. many saints examined their consciences every night before bed, and some went to daily confession! :eek:

I got the above from HERE:

  1. Have I deliberately doubted or denied any of the teachings of the Church?

Have doubts about your faith? SIN!
Not able (yet) to accept one of the Church’s teachings? SIN!
(people on this forum say that if you are not able to accep the Church’s teachings, you are denying those teachings)

  1. Have I recommended myself daily to God?
  2. Have I been faithful to my daily prayers?

Don’t pray for at least 20 minutes every day? SIN! (to be fair, I think the length of time may have come from the USCCB website)

  1. Have I bought or sold things not of necessity on Sunday and Holy Days of obligation?

Bought anything on a Sunday? SIN!

  1. Have I been disobedient or disrespectful to my husband?

Disobedient to your husband (whatever that means)? SIN!

  1. Have I overeaten or do I neglect to eat properly, i.e., nutritious foods?

Had a Big Mac? SIN!

Let someone or something influence my choices more than God?

Made a decision on someone else’s advice? SIN! (sorry, this is from THIS SITE)

  1. Have I harmed my own soul by intentionally and without necessity exposing it to temptations, e.g.: bad TV, bad music, beaches, etc.

Watched any R rated movies? SIN!

This might be better off in a new thread, but I don’t understand why all cohabitation is necessarily a mortal sin. What if the couple’s engaged and are going to be married like a month after college for example? If they can agree to be chaste for that month, is there really any point in renting two apartments JUST so they don’t live together until marriage?

Oh, and more absurdities:

Have I allowed them to date/go steady without the prospect of marriage within the near future? (St. Alphonsus says 1 year maximum.)

By extension, have I dated anyone for longer than a year?

Have I scandalized them by arguing with my spouse in front of my children?

Have I ever disagreed with my spouse? Which, despite the fact I’m still in college and therefore unmarried, I know to be an inevitability. No two people can agree on literally everything

Have I harmed my own soul by intentionally and without necessity exposing it to temptations, e.g.: bad TV, bad music, beaches, etc.

Have I been to any beach at all?

From the other site:

Knowingly eat meat on a forbidden day (or not fasting on a fast day)?

IIRC, we aren’t actually morally obligated to fast/abstain

im not sure whether cohabatitation is for sure a mortal sin ( i know it could be), but i know it is in the least a venial sin. my priest told me the reason why it is a sin is because even if the couple is engaged and to become married soon, they still should not live together because there is always the temptation for them to have sex. and of course, if one gets out of the shower and the other sees them… then you get the idea of what may happen. and beyond that you’re not married yet so why should you live together? and as posted above, studies have even shown that those who co-habitate before marriage are more likely to have marital problems later and get divorced. basically its wrong because it always puts that temptation before the couple to have sex before marriage or to do other things. whether or not it is a mortal i know not. you’d have to ask a priest. :thumbsup: the following link should help explain it better than i do :


Here is a good examination: fatima.org/essentials/requests/examconc.asp and another ewtn.com/library/prayer/examconscience.htm

For those with an iPhone, this is an excellent app: meaculpaapp.com

This is the examination I got my examples from… :shrug:

Yes, and it says:

Necessary conditions for a sin to be mortal:

Serious Matter
Sufficient Reflection
Full Consent of the Will

That list of sins contains sins that may or may not be mortal such as, “Have I been faithful to my daily prayers?” :slight_smile:

I think this is where one of the major miscommunications occurs in passing Catholicism from one person to the next. There are many interpretations that translate to essentially everything being a sin.

I left the church for a long time and came back, so I’ve been paying more attention this time. A lot of people who are quick to accuse you of sin may not be able to separate a stimulus from an action. You might have a desire to do something but do not ***act ***on that desire. In this instance, no sin has been committed. Just because you wanted to do it, or contemplated doing it…if you didn’t actually do it, you didn’t do it, and that’s that. However, to many Catholics, cause and effect are inexplicably linked. For example, if you masturbate or watch porn, even if only occasionally, that automatically makes you a sex addict and a bad person who has ruined your future wife’s health (even if you haven’t met her yet). Quite a leap of logic, filled with nothing but assumptions.

I think the issue is a loss of moral culpability. No one is holding people responsible for their decisions anymore, they’re just looking for whatever person or object to blame. Lots of people really do believe that beaches are a sin. Why? Because of swimsuits. Why? Because swimsuits force people to do bad things? Really? The majority of western culture has made yearly vacations out of visits to beaches. And I admit, sometimes seeing a girl in a bikini will make me think of stuff, because she’s nearly naked, but the difference is that I know better than to act on it. I don’t go up to people at the beach and say, ‘hi I noticed you’re almost naked, let’s go have sex so I can never call you again.’ I choose not to do that, even though I am physically capable… Just because it’s possible for someone to misuse something doesn’t mean that something is a sin. It’s all about the way we choose to use things. Keep the blame on the person who screwed up, not on the object they screwed up with. Swimsuits shouldn’t be thought of as sinful just because some people use things for the wrong reasons. What if you wore a tee shirt to the beach. Are beaches sinful then?? I was just using that as an example because my neighbor really does think beaches are sinful. Another example is a family member who thinks that salt is a mark of the devil because he has high sodium levels. And I’m like…so? Just because some people have high sodium levels doesn’t mean that salt is the devil… It just means your body is different and that you have certain reactions to things that other people don’t have, so you must stay away from salt instead of trying to ban everyone else from using it.

I think that a lot of Catholics tend to think that there is only one answer in life, and I think that life has many answers and that different situations turn out differently. However, I also admit that I have trouble listening to God, so I don’t mean to disagree with Catholic teaching, because I could be wrong. I think it’s a matter of putting sin into perspective - Christianity shouldn’t be trivialized and reduced down to following a set of rules if you want to stay in the club. I think God knows what your weak and strong points are, he knows where you are a good example and where your judgment does and always will err. I think as long as you’re trying to do right, he won’t withhold forgiveness. :signofcross: :heart:

And by that, I don’t mean that it’s okay to sin, I just mean that God doesn’t expect anyone to be perfect, and he embraces our individual strengths ***and ***weaknesses. :bible1:

The Examination of Conscience from The Fatima Network (your link) is headed by Fr Nicholas Gruner.

Fr. Gruner has been suspended from priestly ministry and does not have ecclesiastical approval of his activities. Gruner has been in conflict with Church authorities for over 20 years because of his insistence that the Fatima message has gone unheeded.

Information from here: Fatima Network

Check, check, and check your online resources! :frowning:

Thanks for this info. I just looked at the examination and saw that it was a mix of mortal and venial sins and that one shouldn’t look at them as all being mortal. :slight_smile:

Thank you for this information

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