Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church Ystradgynlais

The Season of Lent

Lent is a time for reflection, repentance and restoration.

 Jesus offers forgiveness to us through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

 As Catholics, we are called to experience Reconciliation at least once a year.

We encourage you to begin your Lenten journey with a clean heart and an open mind.

Examination of Conscience

In the Catholic spiritual tradition, we have a method of self-evaluation that might be a valuable spiritual exercise at this time of year. It’s called an “examination of conscience.”  Although there are lots of different forms of this exercise, all of them are comprised of a structured list of questions to ask yourself, designed to help you determine where you might have gone wrong, what your spiritual weaknesses are, and even what you should have done that maybe you neglected to do. If you’ve never done a formal examination of conscience, this might seem like a big downer.  But this is a list that’s just between you and God.

 There’s no need to sugar-coat it. If, after going through the exercise, you’ve discovered some serious issues needing reconciliation and forgiveness, then you’re well prepared for the Sacrament of Reconciliation or confession.

At a minimum, you will be able to base your Lenten sacrifice on something concrete.

A Brief Examination of Conscience Based on the Ten Commandments

I am the Lord your God: you shall not have strange Gods before me
Have I treated people, events, or things as more important than God?

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
Have my words, actively or passively, put down God, the Church, or people?

Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day.
Do I go to Mass every Sunday (or Saturday Vigil) and on Holy Days of Obligation?
Do I avoid, when possible, work that impedes worship to God, joy for the Lord’s Day, and proper relaxation of mind and body?
Do I look for ways to spend time with family on Sunday?

Honour your father and your mother.
 Do I show my parents due respect?
Do I seek to maintain good communication with my parents where possible?
Do I criticize them for lacking skills I think they should have?

You shall not kill.
Have I harmed another through physical, verbal, or emotional means, including gossip or manipulation of any kind?

You shall not commit adultery.
Have I respected the physical and sexual dignity of others and of myself?

You shall not steal.
Have I taken or wasted time or resources that belonged to another?

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.
Have I gossiped, told lies, or embellished stories at the expense of another?
You shall not covet your neighbour’s spouse.
Have I honoured my spouse with my full affection and exclusive love?

You shall not covet your neighbour’s goods.
Am I content with my own means and needs, or do I compare myself to others unnecessarily?

Act of Contrition

 My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart.

In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against you whom I should love above all things.

I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin.

Our Saviour Jesus Christ suffered and died for us.

In his name, my God, have mercy.