An examination of conscience for the whole family

This examination of conscience is taken from The Catholic Family Book of Prayers.

This brief examination of conscience, loosely based on the Ten Commandments, may be used in preparation for receiving the sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation, or as a kind of daily examen. Your family may wish to review it together silently, or with the guidance of a reader.

  • Have I made anything more important than God: myself, others, money, things I own, things I want, ideas, activities, or goals? Have I set aside time to pray to God every day?
  • Have I acted pridefully, as if I know everything, am better than others, or don’t need God or others?
  • Have I used God’s name in a bad way? Have my words hurt God, his Church, or the good he wants for all people?
  • Have my words and actions given glory to God’s name? Have I shared my faith with those who do not know God?
  • Have I gone to Mass when I should? Have I fully shared in the celebration of Mass? Have I listened to the Word of God and the homily? Have I received the Eucharist reverently? Have I spent my Sundays in prayer, rest, service, and family time?
  • Have I given love and respect to my father and mother? Have I obeyed them? Have I tried to help them without being asked? Have I whined, complained, nagged, or otherwise been difficult toward them? Have I been loving and respectful to my brothers and sisters?
  • Parents: Have I shown love and respect to my children? Have I been patient and kind? Have I disciplined my children with love, and in ways that help them become the people God wants them to be?
  • Have I been a good citizen? Have my words and actions strengthened my community, or harmed it?
  • Have I hurt others, with my hands or my words? Have I given support or encouragement to those who hurt others? Have I excluded others, or treated others with less than the respect they deserve as children of God? Have I held onto anger or hatred toward others? Have I refused to forgive others?
  • Have I respected my body? Have I given my body what it needs to be strong and healthy? Have I viewed pornography, engaged in sexual acts outside of marriage, or otherwise offended human dignity for my own pleasure?
  • Have I taken what does not belong to me? Have I wasted time or resources? Have I used my talents and resources to help those in need? Have I let others borrow my possessions for good reason? Have I done my work well? Have I contributed to the good of others through my work? Have I done my chores and schoolwork as best I can, with a good attitude?
  • Have I always told the truth to myself, God, and others? Have I gossiped, or shared information I shouldn’t have?
  • Have I been grateful for what I have, or greedy to have what others have? Have I been generous with my time and possessions? Have I given away what I do not need?


“Return to your conscience, question it. . . . Turn inward, brethren, and in everything you do, see God as your witness.” (St. Augustine)



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