Prayers for the Sacrament of Reconciliation

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
 and truth."
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
 Father Luther!

(Prayers taken from: The Rites of the Catholic Church, Volume I, The Liturgical Press: Collegeville, Minnesota, 1990)