An Examination of Conscience for Children

by Fr. Edward Filardi, Gaithersburg, Maryland

I. I am the Lord your God. You shall not have strange gods before me.
Do I give time every day to God in prayer?
Do I put my trust in superstitions, good luck charms, rather than God alone?
Have I rejected any Church teaching or denied that I was a Catholic?

II. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
Have I used the words "God" or "Jesus" in anger or irreverently?
Have I used foul or ugly language? Have I wished evil on another?

III. Remember to keep holy the Lord's day.
Have I missed Mass on Sunday or any holy day of obligation?
Do I arrive at church late or leave early?
Do I try to be reverent and pay attention during Mass?
Do I avoid unnecessary work on Sunday?
Do I make Sunday a day of prayer or rest?

IV. Honor your father and your mother.
Do I respect and obey my parents?
Have I dishonored or mistreated them by word or deed?
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?
Am I a tattletale or bully?
Do I give a good example, especially to younger siblings?
Do I respect others in authority: priests, nuns, police, old people, baby-sitters?

V. You shall not kill.
Do I beat up others or hurt their bodies?
Do I say cruel things, or make fun of others to hurt their feelings?
Do I say mean things about others behind their backs?
Have I stopped speaking to anyone?
Do I encourage others to do bad things?
Do I try to love all people, born and unborn?

VI. You shall not commit adultery.
Do I treat my body and other people's bodies with purity and respect?
Do I look at television shows, movies, or pictures that are bad?
Am I modest in my speech and the clothes I wear?

VII. You shall not steal.
Have I taken things that were not mine from a store or another person?
Have I destroyed or misused another person's property for fun?
Do I return things that I borrow? In good condition?

VIII. You shall not commit false witness against your neighbor.
Am I honest in my school work?
Do I tell lies to make myself look good?
Do I tell lies to protect myself from punishment?
Do I tell lies that make another person look bad or get them in trouble?

IX. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife.
Do I allow my parents to spend time with one another, or do I get jealous and want them to pay attention only to me?
Do I get mad when I have to share my friends?
Are there kids I will not play with or be mean to because they look different?

X. You shall not covet your neighbor's goods.
Am I jealous or envious of the things or abilities that others have?
Am I thankful to God and my parents for what they have given me?
Do I share the things I have with my family, friends and poor people?

The Act of Contrition
Oh my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend you, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve with the help of your grace to sin no more, to amend my life, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Amen.

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