I came across this OP from a thread back in 2005 while looking for something else, and very glad and grateful to Springbreeze (OP) who posted it.
Boy oh boy has it shot me down in flames completely for every time I have examined my conscience and thought I had nothing offensive in a 24hr span or for Confession!!! A really excellent examination of conscience to pin to the more traditional mortal and venial sin type of list. Never again will I be able to fool myself with seemingly nothing on my conscience…and a happy event indeed! I could feel something was not right but at times could not pinpoint it! Now I can pinpoint it very often indeed, and numerous times for sure.
It is not long at all but much packed into it worthwhile!
Quoting Springbreeze in 2005
A meditation I read recently that I thought others may like to take a read at.
For Those With Nothing To Confess!
By the late Father Kilian McGowan, C.P. Used with permission, from the Passionist Priests, to help spiritually guide the layman.
It’s not unusual for the priest-confessor to be told by a penitent that he could think of nothing to tell in the confessional. The following examination of conscience is given for the average person who has trouble in finding matter for Confession. Let us emphasize, however, that most of the faults listed below are only venial sins and do not have to be mentioned in the sacrament of Penance.’
**Read on on the link given above. **
We do need to understand the following from the Catholic Catechism. One of the conditions for venial sin is that we need to deliberately commit a venial sin. And if it was not deliberate, then it becomes a fault or imperfection in our ‘spiritual makeup’, which equally can be confessed as they are failures, involuntary failures, faults and imperfections, in Charity.
1868 Sin is a personal act. Moreover, we have a responsibility for the sins committed by others when we cooperate in them:
- by participating directly and voluntarily in them;
- by ordering, advising, praising, or approving them;
- by not disclosing or not hindering them when we have an obligation to do so; - by protecting evil-doers.
1863 Venial sin weakens charity; it manifests a disordered affection for created goods; it impedes the soul’s progress in the exercise of the virtues and the practice of the moral good; it merits temporal punishment. Deliberate and unrepented venial sin disposes us little by little to commit mortal sin. However venial sin does not break the covenant with God. With God’s grace it is humanly reparable. "Venial sin does not deprive the sinner of sanctifying grace, friendship with God, charity, and consequently eternal happiness."134
While he is in the flesh, man cannot help but have at least some light sins. But do not despise these sins which we call “light”: if you take them for light when you weigh them, tremble when you count them. A number of light objects makes a great mass; a number of drops fills a river; a number of grains makes a heap. What then is our hope? Above all, confession.135