THE SACRAMENT OF RECONCILIATION
No sin is unforgivable,
as long as we approach the throne of mercy with
a humble, contrite heart. No evil is capable of overpowering
God’s limitless mercy.
Frequent confession, as recommended by
the Church, gives us more accurate self-knowledge and makes us
grow in Christian humility. It helps us uproot bad habits
and it makes our conscience more sensitive, so that we
do not gradually become lukewarm or careless. It strengthens our
will and leads us to a constant effort to perfect
the grace of baptism in our soul, and to identify
more closely with Christ. It also brings home to us
our own powerlessness in the supernatural life and it helps
us to trust utterly in God’s grace.
that conversion of heart is a permanent requirement if you
are to fully accomplish God’s will in your life, go
to the sacrament of reconciliation at least twice a month,
and make it a living and renewing encounter with Christ
and with the Church.
Make a conscious act
of faith in the sanctifying action of Christ, present in
the priest (preferably a regular confessor). Be simple and humble.
Confess your faults in an orderly, brief, precise, clear and
complete manner. Accept the guidance of your confessor with faith,
and make sure you do the penance in a true
spirit of reparation, as soon as possible. Also offer your
daily activities and hardships in reparation for your sins.
Thank God for the gift of his forgiveness and
friendship by resolving to improve your conduct out of love
and holy fear of God, and by living a life
of greater fidelity to the mission he has entrusted to
Examining your Conscience
Some questions for preparing
confession, selected from the Rite of Penance, are offered below
as a guideline: they are not intended to be exhaustive,
let alone obligatory. You can use these or others more
suited to your own needs.
Prayer for Help
Lord and my God, you know each person’s heart. Give
me the grace to examine mine sincerely and to know
it truly so I can discover all my sins, confess
them well and avoid them from now on. Thus I
hope to win your pardon and grace on earth and
eternal life in heaven. Grant this through Christ our Lord.
1. What is my attitude toward
the sacrament of penance: Do I sincerely want to be
purified, start afresh and deepen my friendship with God? Or
is it a burden, to be endured as seldom as
2. Did I forget to mention, or deliberately
withhold, any serious sins in past confessions?
I fulfill the penance I was given? Did I repair
any harm done to others? Have I tried to put
into practice my resolution to lead a better life in
keeping with the Gospel?
1. Is my heart set on
God, so that I really love him above all else,
as a child loves his father, by faithfully keeping his
commandments? Or am I completely caught up in the things
of this world? Do I have a right intention in
what I do?
2. Do I believe firmly in
God, who spoke to us through his Son? Do I
wholeheartedly accept the Church’s teaching? Do I take an interest
in my Christian formation by listening to the word of
God, nourishing my faith with appropriate reading, taking an active
part in formative activities and avoiding whatever could endanger my
faith? Have I always been strong and fearless in professing
my faith in God? Do I give evidence of being
a Christian both in public and in private?
Have I said my prayers in the morning and at
night? Is my meditation a genuine conversation of mind and
heart with God or is it a purely exterior rite?
Have I offered God my difficulties, sufferings and joys? Do
I turn to him in times of temptation?
Do I respect God’s name, or have I offended him
by blasphemy, false oaths or taking his name in vain?
Have I shown disrespect for the Blessed Virgin Mary or
5. Do I sanctify Sundays and holy
days of obligation by participating actively, with attention and devotion,
in the Celebration of the Eucharist? Have I fulfilled the
precepts of yearly confession and of Communion during the Easter
6. Are there false gods that I worship
by giving them greater attention and deeper trust than I
do God: money, superstition, spiritism, or other occult practices?
7. Do I devote as much attention and effort to
my growth in holiness as a Christian and my vocation
to be an apostle, as I do to my work
or to other personal or social interests?
I have a genuine love for my neighbor? Do I
use people for my own ends? Do I treat them
as I would not want them to treat me? Have
I given grave scandal by my words or actions?
2. In my family life, have I contributed to the
well-being and happiness of the rest of the family by
my patience and genuine love?
3. Do I share
my possessions with the less fortunate? Do I do my
best to help the weakest and most needy? Do I
look down on my neighbor?
4. Does my life
reflect the mission I accepted at confirmation and ratified by
incorporation into Regnum Christi? Do I have apostolic zeal? Do
I take an active part in the Movement’s apostolates? Do
I lend a hand with my team’s activities whenever I
can? Have I tried, within my means, to relieve the
needs of the Church, the Movement and the world? Have
I prayed for these, especially for unity in the Church,
for the missions, for the well-being, growth and success of
the Movement, for an increase in vocations to priesthood and
consecrated life, and for peace and justice?
I generous in contributing my God-given talents (abilities, initiative, time,
financial resources, professional contacts, etc.) to support Regnum Christi apostolates
and the general good of the Church?
I appreciate what the salvation of a single soul means?
Have I done everything possible to bring my family and
acquaintances closer to God and the Church? Have I invited
others to join Regnum Christi as a way to grow
in the knowledge and practice of their faith, and get
involved in the Church’s evangelizing mission?
7. Am I
concerned for the good and well-being of the local community,
or do I go through life caring only for myself?
Do I share to the best of my ability in
the effort to promote justice, morality, harmony and charity in
human relations? Have I fulfilled my civic duties? Have I
paid my taxes?
8. In my work or
profession am I hard-working, just and honest, serving society out
of love for others? Have I paid my employees a
fair wage? Have I kept my promises and contracts?
9. Have I given the lawful authorities due obedience and
10. If I am in a position
of responsibility or authority, do I use this for my
own advantage or for the good of others, in a
spirit of service?
11. Have I been truthful and
trustworthy, or have I harmed anyone by deceit, slander or
lies, or by revealing a secret?
12. Have I
harmed another’s life or limb, reputation, honor, or property? Have
I had an abortion or induced someone else to have
one? Have I hated anyone? Am I estranged from anybody
because of quarrels, insults, snubs, resentment or antagonism? If I
have slandered somebody, have I done my best to repair
the harm caused? Have I spoken badly of others, making
known their faults or failings? Have I thought badly of
13. Have I stolen or damaged another’s
property? Have I desired it unjustly or immoderately? Have I
made restitution or made good the damage?
anyone has harmed me, have I been ready to make
peace and to forgive out of love for Christ, or
am I harboring hatred and a desire for revenge?
15. Has my selfishness caused me to omit doing something
that in justice I should have done for my neighbor?
1. What is the basic course that I
have charted for my life? Is the hope of eternal
life my inspiration? Do I strive to make progress in
the spiritual life by keeping faithfully my spiritual commitments: prayer,
reading and meditation on the word of God, reception of
the sacraments, monthly retreat, self-denial? Am I striving to control
my vices, my evil tendencies and passions, such as envy,
gluttony in food and drink, laziness, greed and anger? Have
I rebelled against God by being proud or boastful? Have
I despised others while overrating myself? Have I imposed my
own will on others, without respecting their freedom and rights?
2. What use have I made of my time,
my health and strength, and the abilities God has given
me? Have I used them to master my instincts and
grow in perfection as God wants, or solely for my
own selfish advantage? Have I been idle or lazy?
3. Have I endured the sufferings and setbacks of life
patiently and calmly? Have I practiced bodily mortification so as
to help “complete what is lacking in the passion of
Christ?” Have I kept the precept of fasting and abstinence?
4. Have I kept my senses and my
whole body pure and chaste as a temple of the
Holy Spirit called to share in the glory of the
resurrection, and as a sign of God’s faithful love for
men and women, a sign seen most perfectly in marriage?
Have I dishonored my body by fornication, impurity, unworthy expressions
or thoughts, impure desires or actions? Have I indulged in
reading, conversation, shows or entertainment that offend Christian and human
decency? Have I encouraged others to sin by my own
5. Have I ever gone against my
conscience out of fear or hypocrisy?
6. Have I
always tried to act in the true freedom of the
children of God following the law of the Spirit, or
am I a slave of my passions?
For a son
Have I been obedient to my parents, shown
them respect and helped them in their spiritual and temporal
For a parent:
Am I careful to
give my children a Christian upbringing, help them by good
example and exercise my authority with fairness and love? Have
I been faithful to my spouse in my heart and
in my dealings with others? Have I been faithful to
the moral law in my marital relations?
Rite of PenanceProclamation of Praise of God and Dismissal
Reception of the Penitent
The priest and
penitent may say together:
In the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
The priest invites the penitent to trust in God, in
these or similar words:
V/ May God, who has enlightened
every heart, help you to know your sins and trust
in his mercy.
The penitent answers:
confesses his sins. The priest may give him counsel and
proposes an act of penance. The penitent expresses his sorrow
(using the following or a similar text):
of the Penitent
R/ Lord Jesus Christ, true God
and man, my Creator and Redeemer, I love you above
all else and I am sorry with all my heart
for the wrong I have done and the good I
have failed to do. By sinning, I have offended you,
the supreme good, worthy of being loved above all else.
To make up for my sins, I offer my life,
all I do and all I suffer. I firmly intend,
with your help, to do penance, to sin no more,
and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Lord, by
the merits of your passion and death, take pity on
me and give me the grace never to offend you
The priest says:
the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of
his Son has reconciled the world to himself and sent
the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins;
through the ministry of the Church may God give you
pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins
in the name of the Father, and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.
The penitent answers:
The priest may
V/ Give thanks to the Lord, for he is
The penitent then concludes:
R/ His mercy endures for
Then the priest may dismiss the penitent who has
been reconciled, saying these or similar words:
V/ Go in
peace, and proclaim to the world the wonderful works of
God who has brought you salvation.
Lord has freed you from your sins. Go in peace.