Make an Examination of Conscience
based on the 10 Commandments

Moses & 10 commandments

To make copies of this for distribution, please go to Catholic Digital Resources, where there is also a youth version.

Warning: Do not send this Examination of Conscience to others because you think “they need it.” This is for you!


Sin is hatred of God

“In so far as [humans] are prepared to prefer their own will to God’s will, they can be said to hate God: for of course they cannot hate Him in Himself. But they hate Him in the Commandments which they violate. But God is our life: God’s will is our food, our meat, our life’s bread. To hate our life is to enter into death” (Thomas Merton).

You can live a holy life!

“What God commands He makes possible by grace,” says paragraph 2083 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

“Jesus says, ‘I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.’ The fruit referred to in this saying is the holiness of a life made fruitful by union with Christ. When we believe in Jesus Christ, partake of His mysteries, and keep His commandments, the Savior Himself…becomes, through the Spirit, the living and interior rule of our activity” (para. 2074).

In other words, it is only when we have a growing relationship with the Lord Jesus that we are empowered to live more and more the way God commands us to. Jesus gives us His Holy Spirit to help us understand and obey the Father’s commands.

God’s laws were made for our benefit! Our obedience opens us to receive more of God: more of His love, His help, His comfort, His healing, etc. “The gift of the Commandments is the gift of God Himself” (para. 2059).

Any time we disobey God, we make our lives more difficult because we are turning away from love: “Sin sets itself against God’s love for us and turns our hearts away from it” (para. 1850).

This is why it’s important to make a good examination of conscience. Use this Examination of Conscience prayerfully. Make note of the sins you’ve committed as they come to mind. Then reflect on how these sins have opposed love. Remember that God is a God of mercy. His mercy doesn’t give us permission to do anything we feel like doing. Rather, it gives us love even when we don’t deserve it.

As soon as possible, confess your sins and receive the extra graces that are available in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Once you’ve done this, you’re set free from the guilt of these sins (even though you might still need to undo the damage you’ve caused) and you never need to confess these sins again unless you recommit them. So forgive yourself and depend on the supernatural graces of the Sacrament that will help you improve in living a holy and loving life.

This Examination of Conscience is based on the Ten Commandments because, “Since they express man’s fundamental duties toward God and towards his neighbor, the Ten Commandments reveal, in their primordial content, grave obligations. They are fundamentally immutable, and they oblige always and everywhere. No one can dispense from them” (para. 2072).

It’s impossible to convert from every sinful tendency all at once, no matter how much you desire it. Let God transform you, but be patient with yourself. Purifying yourself is a process — sometimes a very long process. God loves you right now, and so should you!

Next1st Commandment
A printable version is available at the end.

© 2000 by Terry A. Modica

Like what you've read? Click here to subscribe to more Good News!
Choose one of the editions of the Good News Reflections, and as a thank-you for subscribing, we will also send you a free download of my mini-ebook "10 Prayers That Changed My Life".

Post a Comment

All comments are moderated before appearing on this page.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via email. (You may alternatively subscribe without commenting.)

Send donations to:
Good News Ministries
5474 Willams Road, Suite 2B
Tampa, Florida 33610 USA

GNM logo donated  by
Brent Delperdang of
Web Talent Marketing

Website content © 1996 - 2017
Most photos © Terry Modica. All rights reserved.
See our Copyrights Page for permission.

Good News Ministries gnm.org

Looking for
Charlie Osborn's
Good News of Divine Mercy?

This is NOT it! Here's his info.

Contact Us

Privacy Policy

Good News Ministries of Tampa Bay is a Catholic adult faith formation and evangelization ministry in the Diocese of St. Petersburg. We offer events such as seminars, retreats, courses, and parish missions. Our speakers for Catholic adult education specialize in teaching the Church documents, Bible study, the Vocation of Marriage, and prayer. Our services include daily Good News Reflections on the readings from Catholic Mass, WordBytes e-magazine, Virtual Pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Online Rosaries, and much more. As a non-profit charitable organization, GNM charges no fees but accepts donations to continue ministering. Catholic Digital Resources is Terry Modica's writing services company. Good News Ministries of Tampa Bay, Inc., is an equal opportunity agency; we never practice discrimination based upon age, ethnicity, gender, national origin, disability, race, size, religion, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic background, other than as allowed by law.