Menu Confession Many Catholics treasure the sacrament of Reconciliation. The peace of mind and soul which this sacrament imparts to us is one for which there is no substitute. It is a peace that flows from a certainty, rather than from an unsure hope, that our sins have been forgiven and that we are right with God. Casey Catholics have usually reflected upon the 10 Commandments as they prepare for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
This is a sound tradition and here I merely wish to ask some practical questions based on the commandments and the teachings of Jesus. These questions can help you form your own conscience and prepare to celebrate the sacrament.
Even if the questions do not always touch on actual sin, they help us form our conscience by weighing moral values. Do you want to excuse yourself from responsibility for your answers? Do you find yourself thinking of ways to change your attitudes or behaviors so that your answers reflect your deepest beliefs? If you find yourself resolving to be more loving, you are basically healthy.
Do you ignore or avoid old friends in order to be part of the popular crowd? Do you make unreasonable demands on your parents for clothes or money, or feel no responsibility to save for your college education? Do you give support to your peers when they tell racial or ethnic jokes? Why do you find it hard to see the value in those who are different from you?
Do you use language that you would never speak in front of your grandmother? Is this choice prompted by the violence of the vocabulary, its low opinion of others, its insulting character? Why do you choose such language? Why do you think Jesus gave us the Eucharist? Do you thank your parents for what they do for you? Do you offer to help around the house or do you see yourself as a guest? If your parents are divorced, separated or widowed, do you try to understand their pain or loneliness?
Why do you try to impress others and yet have little sense of the needs of those in your family? Do you value your life and that of others? Do you drink and drive or travel with those who do? Do you fool with drugs and pretend that doing so does not affect your grades, your self-respect or your relationships?
Have you ever hit your girlfriend or boyfriend? Why do you feel the need to control or humiliate someone you claim to care about? Do you use other persons for your own selfish pleasure? Do you lie to get sex or force others to act against their values? Do you see sex as a way to be popular or to rebel against your parents? What do you think the casual use of your body or that of another says about your self-worth? Do you cheat on tests or homework assignments? Do you ever shoplift or take things belonging to your parents, your family or other students?
How do you feel about yourself after you do these things? Do you ever shoplift or take things belonging to other students? Can you be trusted to keep a confidence after you promise? Do you lie to protect your own ego, even if someone will be hurt? Why are you upset if you are the victim of such actions? Are you envious of others? Do you resent their popularity or success?
Do you feel you have to put others down in order to feel better about yourself? How do you feel inside when you do? Do you resent your parents when they tell you that they cannot afford to buy the things that you feel you need to keep up with your friends?
Do you ever ask your parents what their financial worries are?