An examination of conscience is a tool that is used when preparing for making a good Confession. This tool can also be used at any time of day, but can be especially fruitful at nighttime, looking back over the day.
The father is the priest of his domestic Church. He is the head of the household as Christ is the Head of His Body. He is called to humbly live out this authority in daily sacrifice of himself. The father is unique and irreplaceable in the home.
If the father is engaged in the home, then his wife will be the better for it. If the father and mother are moving in tandem, then the children will flourish in happiness and holiness. Lest we think this lasts for the 18 years that a child is usually at home, we must remember that human beings are eternal. And, so, this role of fatherhood is an eternal investment!
In this examination of conscience, we look at some of the aspects of being an earthly father. It is based on the Ten Commandments, because these laws have perpetual value and provide a handy framework for examination. We pray that it is a blessing to you!
An Examination Of Conscience For Fathers
- “I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt not have any gods before Me.”
· Am I the spiritual leader of my family?
· Do I make time to pray with my wife and children?
· Do I strive to love God with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength?
· Do I demonstrate devotion to God for my children to clearly see?
· Do I lead my wife closer to the Lord and support her spiritual growth?
· Do I have my priorities in right order, with God front and center?
· Do I have other “gods” in my life which rob time that is best given to prayer and time with my family?
- “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.”
· Do I use appropriate language around my wife?
· Do I lash out with harsh words at your children?
· Does my “yes” mean “yes” and my “no” mean “no”?
- “Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day.”
· Do I bring my whole family to Mass on Sunday?
· Do I make sure that my whole family can attend Mass on Holy Days of Obligation?
· Do I ensure to tithe to my local Parish, according to my financial means?
· Do I prioritize worship of God in all my Sunday activities?
· Do I refrain from unnecessary work on Sunday and spend time in leisure with my family?
- “Honor thy father and mother.”
· Do I spend quality time with my parents regularly (if even on the phone)?
· Do I honor my wife as a true sacramental extension of myself?
· Do I teach my children to honor their mother?
· Do I prudently obey the competent government authorities?
· Do I obey the teachings of Holy Mother Church?
· Do I teach the Faith to my children, in an active way?
- “Thou shalt not kill.”
· Do I support pro-life ministries, especially local crisis pregnancy centers?
· Do I seek to build a culture of life in your home and community by vocally opposing abortion and euthanasia?
· Do I teach my children about the evils of abortion and euthanasia, in an age-appropriate way?
· Do I vocally condemn racism?
· Do I avoid gossip, which can kill a person’s reputation?
· Do I provide for the needs of the poor in my community?
- “Thou shalt not commit adultery.”
· Am I faithful to my wife in word and deed?
· Did I perform impure acts by myself (masturbation) or with another who is not my wife (adultery)?
· Did I willfully entertain impure thoughts and desires?
· Did I deliberately consume impure media?
· When I engage in the marital act with my wife, are we open to life?
· Do I use a form of artificial birth control or condone my wife’s use?
- “Thou shalt not steal.”
· Am I honest in my business dealings?
· When I promise something to my children, do I follow through on it?
· Do I cheat when playing board games with my children or wife?
· Have I taken and kept something that does not rightly belong to me?
· Do I pay my bills on time and in full?
· Do I deprive my family of the necessities of life by rashly gambling or speculating?
- “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.”
· Am I honest in what I say?
· Did I fail to keep secrets that I should have kept?
· Did I commit detraction (gossip or revelation of sins of others)?
· Do I tell lies to deceive or injure others?
· Do I speak well of my wife to my children?
· Do I make comments that imply that my marriage or children are burdensome or unpleasant?
· Do I show overt and intentional favoritism to one child to manipulate another?
· Do I really listen when my wife or children are talking to me?
· Do I purposefully misrepresent what my wife and children say to me to win an argument?
- “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife.”
· Do I have custody of my eyes when I seek an attractive woman who is not my wife?
· Do I live a life of integrity when it comes to human sexuality?
· Do I talk honestly and openly with my children about sexuality, in an age-appropriate way?
· Do I teach my children how to give and receive love in a healthy way?
· Do I model how men should treat women, in the way that I treat my wife?
- “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods.”
· Do I teach my children the value of human work, in a healthy and balanced way?
· Do I model being moderately thrifty and frugal?
· Do I succumb to the spirit of materialism?
· Do I enable my children to become habituated to TV and electronics in an unhealthy way?
· Do I teach my children to share?
· Do I encourage my children to be grateful for what they have?
· Do I model a spirit of gratitude in my home?
· Do I give my children praise when they have done something well, especially completing tasks proficiently?
Act Of Contrition
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee; 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 Thee, my God, Who art all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.