Catholic Reference Lists

Our parish recently had one of the Father’s of Mercy visiting for a retreat. He brought several Examination of Conscience brochures. There are many resources to help with examinations of conscience, but I really liked all the reference material on this brochure. You can download a free PDF copy of the brochure from their store page (Click one of the Red Buttons in the description [or direct link]). For more convenience I have copied the reference material onto this page. Thank you to the Father’s of Mercy for this great reference. I have added Bible and Catholic Catechism (CCC) citations to the sections that didn’t have them. Please contact me if you see any errors.

The Commandments

The Ten Commandments (Ex 20:1-17, Deut 5:6-21)

  1. I am the Lord Thy God. Thou shall not have strange gods before Me.
  2. Thou shall not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain.
  3. Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day.
  4. Honor thy father and thy mother.
  5. Thou shall not kill.
  6. Thou shall not commit adultery.
  7. Thou shall not steal.
  8. Thou shall not bear false witness.
  9. Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s wife.
  10. Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s goods.

The Two Greatest Commandments (Mt 22:37-40, Mk 12:29-31)

  1. You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart, with your whole soul and with all your mind.
  2. You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

The Precepts of the Church (CCC 2041-2043)

  1. You shall attend Mass on Sundays and on Holy Days of Obligation and rest from servile labor.
  2. You shall confess your sins at least once a year.
  3. You shall receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist at least during the Easter Season.
  4. You shall observe the days of fasting and abstinence established by the Church.
  5. You shall help to provide for the needs of the Church.

The Way of Darkness (Sin)

The Seven Capital Sins (CCC 1866)

  1. Pride: Preoccupation with one’s own excellence or misery. (CCC 2538)
  2. Avarice/Greed: Disordered desire for possessions; setting our hearts on material things; selfishness. (CCC 2536)
  3. Lust: Disordered desire for or inordinate enjoyment of sexual pleasure. (CCC 2351)
  4. Anger: Uncontrolled emotion which results in desire for revenge; holding resentment. (CCC 2302-2303)
  5. Gluttony: Putting the pleasures of the body (food, drink, makeup, Internet, TV, etc.) over the goods of the soul. (CCC 2290)
  6. Envy: Sadness at the good of another. (CCC 2539-2540)
  7. Sloth: Bodily or Spiritual laziness or neglect. (CCC 2429)

Sins Against the Theological Virtues

  • Presumption on God’s Mercy. (CCC 2092)
  • Despair of God’s Mercy. (CCC 2091)
  • Resisting and/or Attacking the known truth. (CCC 2094)
  • Envy at another’s spiritual good. (CCC 2540)
  • Obstinacy in sin. (CCC 2840)
  • Final impenitence (refusal to repent). (CCC 1864)

Sins Crying to Heaven (CCC 1867)

  1. Willful murder.
  2. Sodomy.
  3. Oppression of the poor.
  4. Defrauding laborers of their wages.

Being an Accessory to Another’s Sin (CCC 1868-1869, 2480)

  1. By counsel.
  2. By command.
  3. By consent.
  4. By provocation.
  5. By praise or flattery.
  6. By concealment.
  7. By partaking.
  8. By silence.
  9. By defense of the sinful action.

The Works of the Flesh (Gal 5:19-21)

  • Immorality
  • Impurity
  • Licentiousness
  • Idolatry
  • Sorcery
  • Hatreds
  • Rivalry
  • Jealousy
  • Outbursts of fury
  • Acts of selfishness
  • Dissensions
  • Factions
  • Occasions of envy
  • Drinking bouts
  • Orgies

The Way of Light (Holiness)

The Seven Capital Virtues

  1. Humility: Acknowledgment of truth about
    God, oneself and others. (CCC 2546-2547)
  2. Generosity: Doing actions for the benefit of
    others; selflessness. (CCC 1937)
  3. Chastity: Proper integration of sexuality
    within the human person according to the
    mind of God and one’s state in life. (CCC 2337-2350)
  4. Meekness: Gentleness of spirit that gives
    power of self-possession; governs anger. (CCC 716, 1716, 2219)
  5. Temperance: Moderation of the desire for
    pleasure. (CCC 1809)
  6. Brotherly Love: Desire for the true good of
    one’s neighbor, which leads one to act rightly
    toward him. (CCC 2219, 2540)
  7. Diligence: Consistency in doing what is right. (CCC 1808, fortitude)

The Theological Virtues (CCC 1812-1829)

Faith, Hope and, Charity

The Cardinal Virtues (CCC 1805-1809)

Prudence, Justice, Temperance and Fortitude.

The Corporal Works of Mercy (Mt 25:31-46, CCC 2447)

  1. Feed the hungry
  2. Give drink to the thirsty
  3. Clothe the naked
  4. Visit the imprisoned
  5. Shelter the homeless
  6. Visit the sick
  7. Bury the dead

The Spiritual Works of Mercy (Isa 58:6-7, Heb 13:3, CCC 2447)

  1. Admonish the sinner
  2. Instruct the ignorant
  3. Counsel the doubtful
  4. Comfort the sorrowful
  5. Bear wrongs patiently
  6. Forgive all injuries
  7. Pray for the living and the dead

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit (Isa 11:1-2, CCC 1831)

Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, and Fear of the Lord

The Fruits of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22-23, CCC 1832)

Charity, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Generosity, Gentleness, Faithfulness, Modesty, Self-Control and Chastity.

The Beatitudes (Mt 5:3-12, Lk 6:20-26, CCC 1716)

  1. Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
  2. Blessed are the meek; for they shall possess the land.
  3. Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted.
  4. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for justice; for they shall be filled.
  5. Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy.
  6. Blessed are the pure of heart; for they shall see God.
  7. Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God.
  8. Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’s sake; for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
  9. Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.

Three Eminent Good Works to Overcome our Sinfulness (Tob 12:8, Mt 6:1-18, CCC 1434)

Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving.

The Evangelical Counsels (CCC 2103)

Chastity, Poverty and Obedience.

Advertisements

27 Easy Questions to Prepare for Confession According to Fr. Larry Richards’ Speech on Confession

During Fr. Larry Richards’ speech on Confession he mentioned how anyone who didn’t know what their sins were in confession could just ask him for these easy questions. By the end, they would have a pretty good idea what their sins were. At the end of the speech, Father quickly rattled them off. After being reminded of their sins, I’m sure some people were ready to go to confession immediately after the speech ended. Anyways, I thought this list would be a good reference for others. I reordered the questions and polished it up slightly compared to the list given in the speech. It’s just an examination of conscience. You can find several of these online, but maybe this one is right for you. God works in mysterious ways.

Warning: According to the speech, Fr. Larry primarily works with college students, so he is very frank in these questions. Some of the language or wording may be inappropriate for children. Parents should review this list before handing it over to their children. You probably don’t want to explain some of these things to young children. 🙂

27 Easy Questions to Prepare for Confession

  1. Do you pray every day?
  2. Have you used God’s name in vain?
  3. Have you missed mass?
  4. Have you dishonored your parents?
  5. Have you gotten angry?
  6. Have you hurt others with your words?
  7. Have you made fun of others?
  8. Have you lied?
  9. Have you cheated?
  10. Have you gossiped?
  11. Have you been jealous?
  12. Have you been judgmental?
  13. Have you been proud?
  14. Do you consistently give to the poor?
  15. Have you gotten drunk?
  16. Have you gotten high?
  17. Have you had impure thoughts?
  18. Have you had impure actions with yourself?
  19. Have you looked at pornography?
  20. If not married, have you had oral sex with another?
  21. If not married, have you had intercourse with another?
  22. If married, did you commit adultery?
  23. If married, have you used artificial birth control?
  24. Have you had sex with someone of the same sex?
  25. Have you had an abortion?
  26. Have you helped someone else have an abortion?
  27. Are you sorry?

For a more detailed list, refer to the Sins List [PDF] from Fr. Larry’s Reason For Our Hope Foundation. You can also purchase a recording of his speech from that same website.

May God bless you with his abundant grace,
Jared

The Importance of Chastity

Our current culture laughs at the idea of chastity saying things like, “How dare you limit sex!” or “We have a right for sex whenever we want.” The Catechism briefly describes how disordered use of sex is selfish (CCC 2351), but it doesn’t describe the negative effects a lack of chastity causes in our culture. We have many examples of the negative effects in our society because of its obsession with sex. At the same time, we have very few examples of the positive effects chastity brings.

In America, children and adults are bombarded by sex several times a day every day. It’s in our entertainment and in the media from movies to books to the daily news. Even many commercials are filled with sex. Over the years, this has created a society where many people are filled with lust. Because of this, much of the population makes decisions based on which choice will lead them closer to sex. It’s particularly bad for men, which I focus on here. Most of these examples can apply to women as well.

In our society, romance is equated with sexual relations. The romantic movies show the same old story with people dating, holding hands, kissing, and having sex. Then the movie ends. Sex is shown as the goal of every relationship, when it’s really a very small part of true romance. In a typical marriage, sex is only 1% of their time spent together. The rest of the time is nonsexual. The marital act is such a tiny part of the relationship, to focus on it is to miss the majority of the relationship.

So many men are driven by lust, their marriages greatly suffer. Many times the only thing the husband has in common with his wife is the marital act. The rest of the time they live separate lives. Even from the beginning, the relationship faces problems. The husband doesn’t truly love his wife, only her body. He showered her with positive attention, praised her, brought her gifts, offered her help when in need, and was willing to talk to her for hours about her feelings. He had no real interest in these things. He was only using her.

Men in this situation are incapable of being intimate without sex. They can’t have long conversations with their wife. They can’t spend time together in silence. They get frustrated with handholding or kissing if it doesn’t lead to the marital act. In short, they are unable to see the whole person, so the man appears two-faced. When he desires her body, he is very nice to his wife, does everything she says until he gets what he wants. Once his desire is sated, he’s back to his old self, not interested in spending time with her until lust sets in again. Many wives don’t see this going on. Having no idea why their husband is so different by the day, they can easily fall into depression and despair. These ups and downs are devastating to the relationship. Strong marriages need consistency.

These men don’t care about their children either. They will continually complain about having to go to school events, babysit their children, help with homework, change diapers or anything else for the good of their children. They don’t care about their children. Their sole interest is sex. So they are not a family man and don’t really love their wife either. They have no care for their marriage vows. Since physical attraction is the only thing keeping the marriage together, the relationship will turn sour once the wife starts aging. No longer attracted to her, the husband will leave for a younger woman.

American culture’s obsession with sex doesn’t just affect marriages. It also affects platonic relationships. Men are trained to see women as sex objects, so they are constantly evaluating all the women they come across for attractiveness. When a man sees an attractive woman, he rushes toward satisfy his sinful desires. If she denies him or doesn’t move fast enough, he is gone to find another woman.

Whenever he has to work with a woman maybe as co-workers or volunteers, sin is on his mind. He is unable to have any kind of meaningful relationship with her because he can only see relationships with women as the potential for sex. He doesn’t know how to just be friends. When a woman thanks or hugs him, he is thinking she is attracted to him. When he tries to take the next step and she declines, he gets angry and spreads lies about her to others. When this man meets a woman he’s instantly thinking about how to manipulate her when he should focus on just being friends. Romance will happen later on its own. There is no rushing it, but he is impatient. He sees no value in waiting.

All these negative effects and many more are a result of a society that celebrates sex, but a society that celebrated chastity would avoid most of these problems. There would still be some bad apples, but if people were constantly encouraged to value the whole person rather than just their looks, we would be in a much better place. Husbands would truly respect their wives. Men could think of women more like themselves, wanting to do what’s best for the individual rather than their selfish desires. I don’t know how to fix the problem in the overall society, but on an individual level, there is something Catholics can do to improve their relationships.

The only way to stop sex from clouding the mind is to avoid it. This is especially important for single people, but even married people can benefit from this. The most important thing is to limit exposure to the sinful culture. Avoid movies and TV shows with nudity or sex scenes. Reduce how much time you spend with entertainment and the media. The time you do spend, stick to films rated PG or lower, animated films, and documentaries. On TV, nature shows, science shows, and documentaries are usually good. Instead of popular music, listen to classical or Christian music. Another huge thing is not associating with people caught up in the sinful culture. They might be very nice as friends, but bad influences have to go. Make friends with fellow Catholics, who know the truth and strive to live by it.

The second most important thing for single people is celibacy. Our society has embraced the horrible sins of fornication, pornography, and masturbation (CCC 2352-2354). Whether you have developed a habit of these sins or not, the only way to see the opposite sex in a Godly way is to remove sex from the equation. You do this by dying to self (Mt 16:25, Mk 8:35), including practicing complete abstinence (or continence, 2349).

Many people don’t think abstinence is even possible. While it may be difficult at first, it is definitely possible. Sex is not a need. Studies suggest it takes about 90 days for the brain to adjust to abstinence. You’ll always have to deal with temptations, but they will be really easy to resist. Then when you get into a romantic relationship while remaining chaste, you will be able to see the whole person, allowing you to fall in love with the whole person, not just how he or she looks. You might even find you’re not called to marriage at all. Lust could have clouded your mind from a call to the priesthood or consecrated life.

Married people can also benefit from abstinence. If you went from the sins of fornication, pornography, or masturbation straight into marriage, you could still have a cloud over your eyes, making it hard to love everything about your spouse. You can remove that cloud through abstinence just like single people. You will need to make an agreement with your spouse, but if he or she accepts, a good time to start this is Lent. It’s only 47 days counting Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday, but I recommend continuing for 90 days. In that time you will be forced to learn how to be intimate with your spouse without the marital act. When you finish, you will appreciate everything about your spouse, not just his or her body. Your marriage will be strengthened, and you might even find you don’t get in as many fights. You will just enjoy each other’s company more.

Everything we do is good or evil, so we are either a slave to sin (selfish) or a slave to God (selfless). We have to acknowledge that our physical body is not our own. It was lent to us by God to do good work; it will eventually be taken away at our death. Our sexuality is not our own but an instrument for God’s good work. Like all blessings, sexuality should be used as an offering to God, whether it be in the sacrifice of continence (abstinence) for single people or the complete giving of self in conjugal life for married people (CCC 2349).

May God bless you with his abundant grace,
Jared

The Depth of the Commandments According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church

While The Ten Commandments are popularly known as God’s rules for Christians to live by, there really is just one commandment: the commandment to love. All the others follow from just this one overarching commandment. The commandment to love can be split into two more specific commandments: love God and love one another. The commandments to love God and one another can then be expanded further into The Ten Commandments. The first through third commandments involve loving God. The fourth through tenth commandments involve loving one another.

Every single sin can be described by how it opposes one of these commandments. There are no sins that do not fit under a commandment. In some cases, it’s not clear why a sin fits under a commandment, but that’s where the Catechism of the Catholic Church fits in. It explains each commandment in detail including all the opposing sins.

Interesting is the fact that the ninth and tenth commandments are more extensions of the sixth and seventh commandments than entirely new commandments. The sixth commandment (“You shall not commit adultery.”) covers the sinful actions related to impurity while the ninth commandment (“You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.”) covers the sinful thoughts related to impurity. The seventh and tenth commandments follow the same model except covering sinful actions (seventh) and thoughts (tenth) related to stealing.

I have summarized this information in the chart below. It starts at the top with the commandment to love, then to love God and one another, then to the ten commandments, and finally, the sins that oppose those commandments. I have made the ninth and tenth commandments extensions of the sixth and seventh commandments, all under Love One Another. The commandments are in circles with orange text while the sins are in rectangles with red text. In parentheses next to each sin is the reference number of the corresponding passage in the Catechism of the Catholic Church for further reading.

The commandments and their opposing sins.

Click image to view full screen.

May God bless you with his abundant grace,
Jared