Preparation for the Sacrament of Penance
As Catholics are encouraged to make going to confession a significant part of their lives during Lent, Pope Francis offered some quick tips to help people prepare for the sacrament of penance. After a brief explanation of why people should go to confession -- "because we are all sinners" -- the pope listed 30 key questions to reflect on as part of making an examination of conscience and being able to "confess well."
The questions include:
-- Do I only turn to God when I'm in need?
-- Do I take attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation?
-- Do I begin and end the day with prayer?
-- Am I embarrassed to show that I am a Christian?
-- Do I rebel against God's plan?
-- Am I envious, hot-tempered, biased?
-- Am I honest and fair with everyone or do I fuel the "throwaway culture?"
-- In my marital and family relations, do I uphold morality as taught in the Gospels?
-- Do I honor and respect my parents?
-- Have I refused newly conceived life? Have I snuffed out the gift of life? Have I helped do so?
-- Do I respect the environment?
-- Am I part worldly and part believer?
-- Do I overdo it with eating, drinking, smoking and amusements?
-- Am I overly concerned about my physical well-being, my possessions?
-- How do I use my time? Am I lazy?
-- Do I want to be served?
-- Do I dream of revenge, hold grudges?
-- Am I meek, humble and a builder of peace?