Browsing Pastor's Notes

4th Sunday of Lent

Examination of Conscience according to the Seven Deadly Sins

The history of Seven Deadly Sins goes back at least to Pope St. Gregory the Great (590-604 ad). While the list itself is not strictly biblical, the Bible reveals all seven areas as affronts to God. This is a helpful preparation for the Sacrament of Confession. If some of these doesn't seem like a sin to you, it almost certainly means you have already rationalized it. When you received your ashes on Ash Wednesday, you were instructed to “Repent and believe in the Gospel”. How’s that going? Have you made use of the Sacrament of Confession lately?

PRIDE - the first of all sins that seeks exceptionalism beyond reason. It makes a person hate being equal to others and hate being less than God.

Have I refused to admit my own weaknesses?

Have I dwelt on the failings of others?

Have I judged others, in my thoughts or words?

Have I ranked myself better than others?

Have I borne hatred for another?

Have I refused to learn from others?

Have I been stubborn or refused to admit I was wrong?

Have I failed to accept that another person had a better idea?

Have I been arrogant or held others in contempt?

Have I neglected to use the talents that God has given me?


VANITY (subset of Pride)– excessive concern about manifesting my glory before others.

Have I been overly concerned about what others think of me?

Have I allowed this to motivate my actions?

Have I lied or exaggerated to make myself look good?

Have I wasted undue time and money on my appearance?

Have I been content with my lowly position, or have I resented the role that Christ asks of me?


ENVY – is sadness at the happiness of another

Jealousy–is coveting what belongs to another

Have I envied or been jealous of the abilities, talents, ideas, good-looks, intelligence, clothes, possessions, money, friends, family, of another?

Have I judged others in my thoughts?

Have I damaged the reputation of another person by my words, attitude, or looks?

Have I repeated accusations that are not true?

Have I exaggerated?

Have I failed to defend the reputation of others?

Have I failed to keep secrets?

Do I despise others of different race, class or culture?

Have I lied or exaggerated?


ANGER – undue or unjust desire for vengeance

Have I harbored resentment, grudges, and hatred in my thoughts?

Have I nurtured imaginary angry conversations?

Have I been slow to forgive?

Have I lost my temper or been impatience?

How have I carried my crosses well?

Have I been impatient with people, family, events, sufferings, sicknesses?


SLOTH/APATHY – laziness and sorrow in the spiritual things of God.

Have I sought God above all else?

Have I allowed things of the world to displace God?

Have I risked losing my faith by bad company, bad reading, cowardice, or pride?

Have I trusted God in times of difficulty?

Have I attended Mass on Sundays and Holy Days?

Have I neglected my daily prayers?

Have I entertained distractions in prayer, or failed to give God due concentration in prayer or in the Mass?

Have I received Holy Communion while in a state of serious/mortal sin?

Have I neglected to utilize Confession?


AVARICE - excessive love of possessing things

Have I been overly concerned about my own comfort and well-being?

Have I been resentful of my lack of money?

Have I generously given with a cheerful heart?

Have I cheated, stolen, or failed to pay my bills on time?

Have I used people for my own ends and advantage?

Have I wasted money?


LUST – disordered desire for sexual pleasure, isolated from its procreative and unitive purpose.

Have I viewed other people as mere sexual objects rather than as persons to be loved?

Have I viewed pornography through print media, internet or TV?

Have I willfully entertained impure thoughts?

Have I engaged in impure acts alone or with others: masturbation, adultery, pre-marital sex, homosexual acts, impure touches, etc.?


GLUTTONY – inordinate desire for consumption.

Have I eaten more than I need?

Have I spent excessive money on food?

Have I consumed alcohol excessively?

Have I driven after drinking?

Have I used illegal drugs or abused prescription medications?

Have I eaten greedily and with little consideration for the presence and needs of those at table with me?

Have I given money to help the hungry?

Have I regularly practiced fasting and self-denial, especially on Fridays?

Have I always fasted an hour before receiving Holy Communion at Mass?


Nothing Less than saints for the Holy Family of God.

Holy Family, Source of Reconciliation, Pray for us.


~ Fr Jeremy M. Gries


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