Prayers for the Sacrament of
December 8, 1996
Brother John Raymond
Recently I received an e-mail from a man wanting to know how he
could make a good sacramental confession. Some leaflets on this
Sacrament are: "A Guide to Confession, (#38050, 16pp. $.25 or 100
for $15.00) Redisovering Frequent Confession (#95415, $.10) or
Examination of Conscience (#97690, $.03 or 100 for $1.20). [Order
from: World Apostolate of Fatima, P.O. Box 976, Washington, NJ
07882-0976. Tel. 908-689-1700. Include S&H charges of $1.05 for
under $2.00 order and $3.45 for under $25.00 order.] Since the
Advent Season is one of preparation not only for Our Lord's first
coming but also for His second coming it certainly seems an
appropriate time to clean house.
In The Rites of the Catholic Church as revised by the Second
Vatican Ecumenical Council, part of the Sacrament of Reconciliation
is the penitent expressing his sorrow for his sins in these or
similar words:. "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 Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us.
In His Name, my God, have mercy."
The act of contrition that I learned in elementary school that is
similar to this is as follows: O my God, I am heartily sorry for
having offended You and I detest all of my sins, not only because of
Your just punishment but most of all because they have offended You
my God, Who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly
resolve with the help of Your grace to sin no more and to avoid the
near occassion of sin. Amen.
The Rite for Reconciliation gives us other options for the act of
contrition and I would like to share them with you.
1. "Remember, Lord, Your compassion and mercy which You showed long
ago. Do not recall the sins and failings of my youth. In Your mercy
remember me, Lord, because of Your goodness." (Psalm 25:6,7)
2. "Wash me from my guilt and cleanse me of my sin. I acknowledge my
offense; my sin is before me always." (Psalm 50: 4,5)
3. "Father, I have sinned against You and am not worthy to be called
Your son. Be merciful to me, a sinner." (Luke 15,18; 18,13)
4. "Father of mercy, like the prodigal son I return to You and say:
'I have sinned against You and am no longer worthy to be called Your
son.' Christ Jesus, Savior of the world, I pray with the repentant
thief to whom You promised paradise: 'Lord, remember me in Your
kingdom.' Holy Spirit, fountain of love, I call on You with trust:
'Purify my heart, and help me to walk as a child of the light.'"
5. "Lord Jesus, You opened the eyes of the blind, healed the sick,
forgave the sinful woman, and after Peter's denial confirmed him in
Your love. Listen to my prayer: forgive all my sins, renew Your love
in my heart, help me to live in perfect unity with my fellow
Christians that I may proclaim Your saving power to all the world."
6. "Lord Jesus, You chose to be called the friend of sinners. By Your
saving death and resurrection free me from my sins. May Your peace
take root in my heart and bring forth a harvest of love, holiness
7. "Lord Jesus Christ, You are the Lamb of God; You take away the
sins of the world. Through the grace of the Holy Spirit restore me
to friendship with Your Father, cleanse me from every stain of sin
in the blood You shed for me, and raise me to new life for the glory
of Your Name."
8. "Lord God, in Your goodness have mercy on me: do not look on my
sins, but take away all my guilt. Create in me a clean heart and
renew within me an upright spirit."
9. "Lord Jesus, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner."
By the way, if you have any questions about this Sacrament ask
(Prayers taken from: The Rites of the Catholic Church, Volume I, The Liturgical Press: Collegeville, Minnesota, 1990)