Examination of Conscience for Confession

The Seven Deadly Sins and Contrary Virtue

The Seven Deadly Sins Contrary Virtue

Pride is an inordinate desire of our own elevation and a vain complacency in ourselves. All vices spring from pride. The chief of these are vainglory, boasting, luxury, pompousness, haughtyness, ambition, hypocrisy, presumtion, obstinancy, disobedience, self-delusion with regard to our own defects. Humility

Covetousness (Greed) is an inordinate love of money and the goods of this world. It produces neglect of salvation, selfishness, hardness towards the poor, craftiness, injustice, quarrels; to say nothing of cares, anxieties and murmurings against Divine Providence. Liberality

Lust, or the vice opposed to chastity, and forbidden by the sixth and ninth commandments is the vile source of innumerable sins. Moreover, the criminal affection for carnal pleasures produces disgust for piety, darkness of the understanding, hardness of heart, the diminution and even extinction of faith. It destroys the health of the body and the noblest qualities of the soul, brings trouble and ruin upon families, and often leads to final impenitence. Chastity

Anger is an emotion or an inordinate transport of the soul, which causes us violently to reject what displeases us, and impels us to take revenge on those who contradict us. The effects of anger are hatred, revenge, obscene language, cursing, blasphemies, outrages, sometimes dueling and murder. Anger becomes a mortal sin when the emotion goes so far as to extinguish the love of God and our neighbor and makes us blaspheme and commit other sins of serious gravity. Meekness

Gluttony is an inordinate love of eating and drinking, or the evil inclination that inclines man to the immoderate use of food and drink. The slaves of this degrading vice stoop so low as to make a god of their belly (Phil. iii.). Gluttony produces drunkenness, impurity, outbursts of passion, blasphemies, angry quarrels, blows or threats, heaviness of soul, disgust for spiritual things, disregard of the laws of the Church for fast and abstinence. Temperance

Envy is the sadness that springs from witnessing the spiritual or temporal good of another, because it seems to lessen our own, or our own merit. This vice engenders rash judgments, detraction, malicious joy at the faults or disgrace of our neighbor, hatred and vexations of all kinds. Brotherly Love

Sloth is an inordinate love of ease, a languor of the soul and the disgust for the labor required for the fulfillment of our duties. Sloth becomes a mortal sin, when through it we fail to fulfill a serious obligation. Sloth produces idleness, loss of time, negligence, ignorance, inconstancy in keeping good resolutions, tepidity, temptations of all kind and cowardice which disposes us to yield to them. Diligence

Nine Ways of Being Accessory to Another's Sin

There are some persons, who concern themselves but very little about the sins which they cause their neighbor to commit; although they are as guilty before God, as if they had committed the sinful acts themselves; and even more so.

By counsel. Have I advised or directed the commission of an evil?

By command. Have I forced or obliged anyone to commit sin?

By consent. Have I permitted any of those who are under my control, to commit it?

By provocation. Have I excited anyone to passion, to cursing, to lewdness, etc?

By praise or flattery. Have I praised or flattered any person for the evil which he has done, and thereby caused him to do it again?

By concealment. Have I hid the crime or the criminal or things that have been stolen; and thereby encouraged the evil to go on; or have I harbored thieves, or lewd persons, and thereby favored their criminal practices?

By partaking. Have I shared in ill-gotten goods or in any other fruits of wickedness whereby I encouraged the transgressions?

By silence. Have I failed to speak up to prevent an evil when I should or could have prevented it?

By defense of the ill done. Have I justified the evil doer, or their evil actions; have I defended false religions?

The Six Sins Against the Holy Spirit

The sins classified as sins against the Holy Ghost are those of pure malice. They are directly opposed to the love and mercy of God, and on that account, render conversion very difficult.

Presumption of God's mercy We continue to sin with the intention of repenting before death comes; or if we make our salvation depend upon our own strength alone and not upon God: or if we rashly expose ourselves to the proximate occasions of sin in the expectation that God will come to our rescue.

There are two kinds of presumption. Either man presumes upon his own capacities, (hoping to be able to save himself without help from on high), or he presumes upon God's almighty power or his mercy (hoping to obtain his forgiveness without conversion and glory without merit

Despair Despair is the willful rejection of hope in that one judges the duties necessary to obtain eternal life impossible to fulfill. Despair is a mortal sin when it arises from distrust of God's goodness and fidelity.

"By despair, man ceases to hope for his personal salvation from God, for help in attaining it or for the forgiveness of his sins. Despair is contrary to God's goodness, to his justice - for the Lord is faithful to his promises - and to his mercy."

Impugning the known truth One of the sins against the Holy Ghost which are said to be without forgiveness. It implies a clear-eyed malice in refusing to accept truth known to come from God. One in such obstinate blindness would need an extraordinary grace before he could repent, and this, though possible, cannot be expected in the ordinary course of God's dispensation. If, however he were to genuinely repent and amend his life, he would obtain forgiveness.

Clarification: To "impugn" the known truth means to attack it by word or argument, to resist it, to contradict it, or even to oppose the known truth or to challenge it as false.

Envy at another's spiritual good One of the deadly sins when one has sadness because of another's good, especially if it is as regarded as a lessening of one's own. It is a sin against charity, whereby we should be at the good of others, and in a matter of weight is mortal. That acute form of envy popularly called jealously, is particularly dangerous for it often leads to brooding upon our own sufferings, to formenting ill-will against our neighbor to underhand revenge by word or deed, or even to open violence.

Clarification: Regarding the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians states, "All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually as the Spirit chooses." To envy the spiritual good of another is to question the Divine judgment of the Holy Spirit in His distribution of spiritual gifts. It is to be jealous of another person who has a gift different than one's own gift. Through envy, one rejects the gift that he has received from the Holy Spirit, determining in his own mind that the gift he has received is not good enough for him and he wants someone else's gift.

Obstinacy in sin Means to resist the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit, to be stubborn, to persist in sin, to be unyielding. Shutting the heart to all promptings of grace and refusing to be moved to repentance by circumstances no matter how favorable. It implies grievous malice and is one of the sins against the Holy Ghost!

Clarification: To be "obstinate" means to resist the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit, to be stubborn, to persist in sin, to be unyielding.

Final impenitence The sin against the Holy Ghost committed by one who, at the hour of death remains impenitent of his grievous sins.

Clarification: "Impenitence" means to be uncontrite, unrepentant, hardened, unconverted, to be without regret, shame or remorse. Hardening of heart supposes blindness of mind, and a will carried on to evil with feeble movements toward good. The soul no longer derives profit from good advice, from sermons, it no longer reads the Gospel, no longer frequents the church. It resists even the warnings of genuine friends.

Four Sins Crying to Heaven for Vengeance

These are four very dreadful crimes, against which God expresses his anger in the most strongest terms. These four sins are said "to cry to heaven for vengeance," because we find them so represented in Holy Writ.

Willful murder (including abortion) Gen. iv. 10.

The sin of Sodom. Gen. xviii. 20.

Oppression of the poor. Exod. xxii. 22-24. Eccl. xxv. 16-19.

Defrauding laborers of their wages. James v. 4.


1st Commandments
2nd Commandments
3rd Commandments
4th Commandments
5th Commandments
6th & 9th Commandments
7th and 10th Commandments
8th Commandments
The Seven Deadly Sins etc.


Music: Tomas Luis de Victoria - O vos omnes (The Tudor Consort) / CC BY 3.0