DEAR BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST:
In the past I have shared with you a Litany Examination of Conscience. In an effort to assist you in preparing to go to Confession, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, before Easter I invite you to pray this Litany. Please note that the use of “we” in each litany verse does not assume that you are committing that particular sin. They are the temptations and sins that represent what we might be guilty of as members of the one community of faith.
1. We confess our lack of faith, our lack of trust and confidence in God and misusing his name.
2. We confess failing to pray because we had other things to do that seemed more important; failing to take time to reflect upon and evaluate our lives.
1. We confess neglecting Mass on Sundays and Holy Days with no good reason; not being attentive at Mass; coming late to Mass or leaving early; distracting others from participating reverently in the celebration of Mass.
2. We confess our failure to pray and to do penance as the Lord has commanded during this Holy Season of Lent.
1. We confess refusing to see God and love him in the persons around us; saying or doing things that hurt others, gossiping, making rash judgements or making comments about others.
2. We confess giving bad example by word and action; being unjustly angry or impatient with those with whom we live, fighting with our family members.
1. We confess the times we were unjust toward our neighbor; the times we were dishonest or lied; taking what does not belong to us; not respecting the property of others.
2. We confess being indifferent to the need of others, not going out of our way to help others because we might get hurt; refusing to help those who really need us.
1. We confess our lack of respect toward those in authority; failing to respect our parents and those who lead us.
2. We confess mistrusting people of different races or backgrounds from ours; betraying trust that is placed in us at home, at work or at school.
1. We confess dodging responsibility that we have; failing to live up to our capabilities, accepting complacency, making little effort to improve our lives and the lives of others.
2. We confess being sluggish and lazy; not using our many gifts to bring happiness into the lives of others.
1. We confess not forgiving our neighbor as God has forgiven us, or sometimes forgiving our neighbor but with strings attached.
2. We confess not showing enough love to the members of our family.
1. We confess overeating and overdrinking; being overly concerned about our physical needs and pleasures; spending too much time concerned about what we wear or what we own.
2. We confess loving others selfishly and possessively; using others for our own satisfaction and benefit cheapening human love in actions, words and jokes.
1. We confess wasting oil, coal, gas, electricity and other natural resources.
2. We confess not praying enough for our leaders in church and in our government; not working as we should for world peace.
1. We confess not sharing our material possessions with the less fortunate in our nation and in the world.
2. We confess not working for human rights and the freedom for all people; especially, for those suffering under oppression. (Author Unknown)
Recall, that back on Ash Wednesday we received the double command, “Repent and Believe!” These identify the proper disposition we should all have throughout the Sacred Season of Lent. I invite you to please pray this Litany Examination of Conscience with that purpose in mind. Using this examination, and others like it, will help us to enter into the Liturgies of Holy Week, when we will recall the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus and our participation in Jesus’ life-saving work through the renewal of our Baptismal Promises on Easter Sunday.