A handy guide to examination of conscience for your “Easter Duty” Confessions

[1] I am the Lord your God. You shall not have strange gods before me. EXAMINATION OF CONSCIENCE

  • Do I give God time every day in prayer?
  • Do I seek to love Him with my whole heart?
  • Have I been involved with superstitious practices or have I been involved with the occult?
  • Do I seek to surrender myself to God’s Word as taught by the Church?
  • Have I ever received Communion in a state of mortal sin?
  • Have I ever deliberately told a lie in confession or have I withheld a mortal sin from the priest in confession?

[2] 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 been angry with God?
  • Have I wished evil upon another person?
  • Have I insulted a sacred person or abused a sacred object?

[3] Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day.

  • Have I deliberately missed Mass on Sundays or Holy Days of Obligation?
  • Have I tried to observe Sunday as a family day and a day of rest?
  • Do I do needless work on Sunday?

[4] Honor your Father and your Mother.

  • Do I honor and obey my parents?
  • 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 care for my aged and infirm relatives?

Visit the site for the other six … and more

Required Easter Duty: Confession and Communion – in that order.


Definition
:
“The obligation to receive Holy Communion at least at Easter time……Annual confession is usually made at the same time” (Definition from A Catholic Dictionary, 1951)

From the current Catechism:

1389 The Church obliges the faithful to take part in the Divine Liturgy on Sundays and feast days and, prepared by the sacrament of Reconciliation, to receive the Eucharist at least once a year, if possible during the Easter season.224

Practical understanding:

Receiving Holy Communion during the Easter season is, very simply, the best way to celebrate … in union with the whole church … the institution of the New Covenant and of the Holy Eucharist … by Jesus Christ, at the Last Supper.

Since it is essential to be free of grave (mortal sin) when receiving Holy Communion, reception of the Sacrament of Reconciliation is also highly recommended (and even required, if grave sin has indeed been committed.)

A Guide To Receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession)

A handy guide to making a good confession.

PDF format.

Don’t Waste Lent

Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer, President, Human Life International

First, begin with the end in mind; that is, remember for what it is that we prepare! The historical events of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of our blessed Lord Jesus were anticipated by the People of Israel wandering forty years in the desert and by Jesus’ own forty days of prayer and fasting in the desert. We can surely spend a little time in a “desert” of self-renunciation, fasting and prayer to prepare our souls to enter into the Paschal Mystery, the greatest of all gifts that touch our lives. Acts of self-abnegation are not ends in themselves; they are means to the end of becoming more pure in our relationship with God and man.

Second, stay simple; that is, don’t load yourself down with too many spiritual exercises or intentions that may discourage you if you run too fast out into the desert. While I am all for heroism in religious practices, I am also realistic about the power of the world, the flesh and the devil to undermine our best efforts. This is why the Church gives us very minimal and, quite frankly, rather easy “penitential” practices in Lent: required fasting is only on two days (Ash Wednesday and Good Friday; guaranteed, these won’t kill anyone!), abstinence from meat is only on Ash Wednesday and the Fridays of Lent (a modest inconvenience for any active person) and our “Easter duty” (Communion at Eastertime and sacramental confession as needed before that). Despite its minimal rigor, though, the Church makes sure that the penitential dimension of this season remains intact. Each person can invest himself in penitential practices beyond this, but make sure you are diligent about the very basics that the Church requires, for obedience is the first of the virtues in religion.

Finally, go for high spiritual impact. That is, identify and practice faithfully just one really magnificent goal for your personal conversion this Lent. I say conversion and not “personal improvement” lest anyone interpret the call to spiritual discipline as a chance to lose weight or quit smoking! What Lent demands of us is to look into our vicious, slothful and petty nature and challenge it with the full prophetic force of the Gospel. A well-intentioned person who stacks up a dozen goals for personal change but accomplishes few or none of them is not a better person at the end of Lent. He is more scattered, less disciplined and under a the illusion of false piety thinking that he is doing something holy by multiplying activities without transforming his heart. In contrast, the one who targets his habit of petty backbiting with a shock-and-awe campaign of generosity toward those he finds disagreeable is the one who receives a blessing from the Lord because he acts like John the Baptist who Jesus said “took the Kingdom by storm.” Any mature person will know that a single, firm and effective intention to convert one’s heart is worth more than a thousand acts of superficial piety.

Focus on the goal, remain simple and obedient, go for true conversion of heart – those who resolve to walk through Lent with these intentions will reap the benefit of conformity to Christ when we finally arrive at the High Holy Days of our blessed Faith.

Submitted by Nancy W.