Prior to confession, and as part of our daily lives. We should contemplate the ten commandments, and how well we adhere to their teachings. Only through sincere and honest examination, can we identify our faults, and see which sins are affecting our lives. By contemplating on our own faults, we can come to realize which sins we must confess. This shows us where we must strive to improve our lives, in order to be able to live a life devoted to God, Jesus, and the Church.
- 1 Conditions for Mortal Sins
- 1.1 I. I am the Lord Your God. You Shall Not Have Strange Gods Before Me.
- 1.2 II. You Shall Not Take the Name of the Lord Your God in Vain.
- 1.3 III. Remember to Keep Holy the Lord’s Day.
- 1.4 IV. Honor Your Father and Your Mother.
- 1.5 V. You Shall Not Kill.
- 1.6 VI. You Shall Not Commit Adultery.
- 1.7 VII. You Shall Not Steal.
- 1.8 VIII. You Shall Not Bear False Witness.
- 1.9 IX. You Shall Not Desire Your Neighbor’s Wife.
- 1.10 X. You Shall Not Desire Your Neighbor’s Goods.
Conditions for Mortal Sins
Mortal sins are sins that must be confessed. They eat away and destroy your connection with God. If a sin is forced upon you, or it could not be avoided. Then it is considered a venial sin, not a mortal sin.
- Grave Matter – If the nature of the sin itself is not grave, urgent or dangerous. Then it’s not considered a mortal sin.
- Sufficiently Full Knowledge – If you are honestly ignorant of the nature of the sin. Then it’s not considered a mortal sin.
- Full Consent or Freedom – If you are not committing the sin freely, and are being tricked, forced or coerced into committing the sin. Then it’s not considered a mortal sin.
When consider each of the Ten Commandments. Ask yourself if your are doing the following:
I. I am the Lord Your God. You Shall Not Have Strange Gods Before Me.
- Do I give God time every day in prayer?
- Do I seek to love Him with my whole heart?
- Have I denied the existence of God?
- Have I doubted or denied my faith?
- Do I seek to surrender myself to God’s Word as taught by the Church?
- Have I ever received Communion in the state of mortal sin?
- Have I rejected any Church teaching or denied that I was a Catholic?
- Does someone or something other than God
influence my choices?
- Have I ever deliberately told a lie in Confession or have I withheld a mortal sin from the priest in Confession?
II. You Shall Not Take the Name of the Lord Your God in Vain.
- Have I used God’s name in vain: lightly or carelessly?
- Have I used the name of God in cursing or blasphemy?
- Have I been angry with God?
- Have I failed to keep the vows or promises that I
have made to God?
- Have I wished evil upon any other person?
- Have I spoken about the Church, the saints, or sacred thing with irreverence, hatred, or defiance?
- Have I insulted a sacred person or abused a sacred object?
- Have I been disrespectful in my behavior in Church?
III. Remember to Keep Holy the Lord’s Day.
- Have I deliberately missed Mass on Sundays or Holy Days of Obligation?
- Am I habitually late to and/or leave early from Mass without a good reason?
- Have I received a sacrament while in a state of mortal sin?
- Have I not kept Sunday as a family day and a day of rest?
- Do I do needless work on Sunday?
- Do I make others work on Sunday?
- Do I try to be reverent and pay attention during Mass?
- Do I do penance every Friday, if not abstaining from meat, then some other form of penance?
- If I am 14 years of age or older, did I abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and the Fridays of Lent?
- If I am between the ages of 18 and 59, did I fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday?
IV. Honor Your Father and Your Mother.
- Do I honor and obey my parents?
- If still under the care of my parents, did I obey all that they reasonably asked of me?
- Have I neglected the needs of my parents in their old age or in their time of need?
- Am I willing to help around the house or must I be nagged a hundred times?
- Do I try to get along with my brothers and sisters?
- Have I neglected my duties to my spouse and children?
- Have I given my family good religious example?
- Do I try to bring peace into my home life?
- Do I respect my elders?
- Do I respect my pastor, bishop, and the Pope?
- Have I broken the law?
- Do I respect others in authority, priests, nuns, police officers, old people, baby-sitters?
- Have I stopped speaking to anyone?
V. You Shall Not Kill.
- Have I unjustly physically harmed anyone?
- Have I unjustly verbally or emotional abused anyone?
- Have I seriously considered or attempted suicide?
- Have I intentionally killed a human being?
- Have I abused drugs or alcohol?
- Did I give scandal to anyone, thereby leading them into sin?
- Have I harbored hatred, anger or resentment in my heart?
- Have I failed to forgive?
- Am I prejudiced or have I unjustly discriminated against others because of their race, color, nationality, gender or religion?
- Did my actions, needlessly or recklessly endanger my life or health, or that of another person’s?
- Do I endanger my health by not eating right or exercising?
VI. You Shall Not Commit Adultery.
- Have I been faithful to my marriage vows in thought and action?
- Have I committed adultery, having sexual relations with someone who is married?
- Have I engaged in any sexual activity before marriage or outside of marriage?
- Have I respected all members of the opposite sex, or have I thought of other people as objects?
- Do I seek to be pure in my thoughts, words and actions?
- Have I forced adultery onto someone?
- Have I set out to seduce someone, or allowed myself to be seduced?
- Have I made uninvited and unwelcome sexual advances toward another?
- Am I living in a valid and licit marriage according to the laws of the Catholic Church?
VII. You Shall Not Steal.
- Have I stolen what is not mine?
- Have I returned or made restitution for what I have stolen?
- Do I waste time at work, school or at home?
- Do I gamble excessively, thereby denying my family of their needs?
- Do I pay my debts promptly?
- Do I seek to share what I have with the poor?
- Do I pay employees a living wage, or fail to give a full day’s work for a full day’s pay?
- Did I cheat on a test, on my taxes, or in business?
- Did I take advantage of another’s hardship or ignorance by charging more for a product than it is worth?
- Have I destroyed or misused another person’s property for fun?
VIII. You Shall Not Bear False Witness.
- Have I lied?
- Have I gossiped?
- Have I harmed someone’s reputation?
- Have I spoken behind someone else’s back?
- Am I critical, negative, or uncharitable in my thoughts of others?
- Did I perjure myself under oath?
- Am I honest in my school work?
- Do I keep secret what should be kept confidential?
- Am I guilty of libel, writing lies about another person in order to destroy his reputation?
- Am I guilty of rash judgment, assuming the worst of another person based on circumstantial evidence?
- Did I betray another’s confidence through speech?
IX. You Shall Not Desire Your Neighbor’s Wife.
- Have I consented to impure thoughts?
- Do I pray at once to banish impure thoughts and temptations?
- Do I listen to, or engage in, impure conversations or jokes?
X. You Shall Not Desire Your Neighbor’s Goods.
- Am I jealous of what other people have?
- Do I envy other people’s families or possessions?
- Am I greedy or selfish?
- Are material possessions the purpose of my life?
- Do I trust that God will care for all of my material and spiritual needs?
- Did I deface, destroy, or lose another’s property without making restitution?