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"Let your mercy come to me, that I may live; for your law is my delight." -Psalm 119

Dear friends, 

 

Last weekend we celebrated the scrutinies in our parish, which meant we had a different set of readings that other parishes may have had. In Year B for the previous Sunday, the first reading was taken from Exodus 20:1-17, when the people of God receive the Ten Commandments from the Lord. I happened to listen to Bishop Robert Barron’s Sunday homily from last Sunday where he quickly went through each of them and explained them, encouraging Catholics to become more familiar with them in their daily lives. Since many parishes, including ours, organize a communal opportunity for people to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation in Lent as a good way to renew our baptismal relationship with God and others, I thought it would be good to use my bulletin message as an opportunity to promote an examination of conscience based on the Ten Commandments.

 

May the Lord help us to know our sins, but trust in his loving mercy. Amen.

Fr. Brian Trueman


 

First Commandment: “I am the Lord your God, you shall not have strange gods before Me.” 

 

Have I denied God? Have I been ashamed of or denied my faith in front of others? Have I ridiculed the teachings or practices of the Church? Have I neglected my prayers? Have I used witchcraft, Wicca, or other Occult practices? Have I practiced various forms of superstition, such as fortune tellers, mediums, ouija boards, tarot cards?

 

Second Commandment: “Do not take the name of the Lord in vain.” 

 

Do I use God’s name carelessly, in anger or in surprise? Have I called down evil upon anyone or anything?

 

Third Commandment: “Keep holy the Sabbath Day.”

 

Have I, through my own fault, failed to come to Mass each Sunday and every Holy Day of Obligation? Do I arrive at Mass late or leave early without good reason? Do I allow myself to be distracted at Mass?

 

Fourth Commandment: “Honor your father and mother.” 

 

Have I disobeyed my parents or treated them with disrespect? Have I neglected my elderly parents? Am I disrespectful, impolite, or discourteous toward my family? Have I neglected my work or my studies? Have I been helpful in my home? Am I disrespectful toward the elderly? Am I disobedient to the civil law or to those in authority such as the police?

 

Fifth Commandment: “You shall not kill.”

 

Have I killed anyone? Did I have an abortion or help another to have an abortion? Have I mutilated my body or another’s body? Did I attempt suicide or seriously consider thoughts of suicide? Do I act violently by fighting or hitting others? Have I been guilty of the sin of racism? Have I had thoughts of hatred toward another? Do I deliberately harbor unkind and revengeful thoughts about others? Have I taken revenge? Have I used harsh or abusive language toward another? Do I act rudely, impolitely, or ridicule others? Have I taken illegal drugs or abused prescription drugs? Have I sold or distributed illegal drugs? Do I neglect to take proper care of my body? Do I eat too much or sleep too much? Do I drink alcoholic beverages in excess? Have I allowed myself to become intoxicated? Am I too concerned about my health or appearance? Am I cruel to animals?

 

Sixth & Ninth Commandments: “Do not commit adultery. Do not covet your neighbor’s wife.” 

 

Have I had an affair? Have I cheated on my spouse or with another’s spouse? Have I had sexual relations outside of marriage? Have I desired or done impure things? Have I taken pleasure in entertaining impure thoughts or desires? Have I read impure material, listened to music with impure lyrics, or looked at impure images, whether in photos or on television or in movies or on the Internet? Have I aroused sexual desire in myself or another by impure kissing, embracing, or touching? Have I committed impure actions alone, i.e., masturbation? Have I committed homosexual acts or other unnatural acts? Do I use artificial contraception, whether surgical, barrier or chemical methods? Have I dressed immodestly or been too concerned with the way I look? Do I use vulgar language or tell or listen to impure jokes or stories?

 

Seventh and Tenth Commandments: “You shall not steal. Do not covet your neighbor’s goods.” 

 

Have I taken anything that was not my own? Have I damaged private or public property or defaced it by vandalism? Have I been guilty of shop-lifting? Have I accepted or bought stolen property or helped someone to steal? Have I bribed someone? Have I borrowed something without the owner’s permission? Have I failed to return something I borrowed? Do I waste money or spend it extravagantly? Do I gamble excessively? Have I harbored a greed for money or worldly possessions? Have I made money, or any possession, a false god? Do I waste goods or food? Have I cheated on tests or schoolwork? Have I cheated in games or sports?

 

Eighth Commandment: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” 

 

Have I lied deliberately? Have I slandered others? Do I gossip about others or listen to gossip? Have I told a secret I was asked to keep? Have I betrayed someone’s trust? Have I criticized anyone uncharitably? Do I make rash judgments and harbor false suspicions about others? Have I deliberately misled or deceived anyone? Have I told half-truths? Have I refused to forgive someone or held a grudge against him or her? Have I failed to apologize or make amends to someone I offended?

 

Other considerations: Am I greedy or selfish or do I indulge in self-pity? Am I proud or vain or do I show off? Am I superficial and worldly? Do I desire to be praised by exaggerating my success? Am I touchy and hypersensitive? Do I magnify the least oversight or thoughtlessness into an insult or deliberate slight? Have I been boastful? Have I been arrogant with others? Have I obstinately defended actions which are sinful, either my own or another’s? Am I rebellious? Have I spent useless time planted before the TV when I could be doing more constructive things? Am I envious of someone’s possessions and do I inordinately desire them to be my own? Do I take delight in the misfortunes of others?

 

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