Prayers of Contrition and Resolution

An Act of Contrition

ALMIGHTY and most merciful God, Thou hast long borne with me in my sins, and Thou hast long and often invited and pressed me to return to Thee once more. Behold, therefore, such is now my sincere desire. I now earnestly wish to quit the husks of swine and to return home to the house of my Father, in the full hope of obtaining pardon from Thy mercy. I desire to come now before Thee, my God, with a contrite heart and to make at Thy feet a sincere acknowledgment of all my sins and offenses. Wherefore, prostrating myself humbly before Thee, I here confess the greatness of my ingratitude to Thee and the multitude of my crimes, and I earnestly implore Thy pardon. I am indeed the prodigal child who has long gone astray from Thee, squandering away my substance and seeking, but seeking in vain, to satisfy my appetite with empty satisfactions. Being now, however, made aware of my own misery and weary of my evil ways, I anxiously wish to return again to Thee. I confess myself unworthy to be called Thy child, and what I now crave of Thy mercy is Thy forgiveness. I am afraid even to lift up my eyes toward Thee, and much less to ask a place, although it were the lowest in Thy family. I feel myself loaded and oppressed with the weight of my disorders, which I now detest from the bottom of my heart. Do Thou then, O Father of Mercies, have pity and compassion on me. Look not upon my sins, but upon the sufferings and the merits of my Redeemer. Look upon Him and upon all that He has done and endured for my salvation. Oh mercy, mercy, by those tears which He shed for me in Gethsemane and by that Blood which He spilled for me upon the Cross, I here lay down all my sins to be washed away by this sacred stream! Yes, my God, I am sincerely sorry for all my past negligences and offenses. I wish that, like the Magdalen, I could wash the feet of my Saviour with penitential tears. I wish I could wash away my sins, although it were even with the tears of blood. In Thy mercy, however, forgive me. Cleanse my soul from all its stains, and let nothing henceforth—no temptation nor fraud of the enemy—so far prevail over me as to be able ever to separate me from Thy love, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Another Act of Contrition

I AM confounded, O my God, at the sight of my sins and at the ingratitude with which I have treated Thy goodness toward me. I am confounded to think that I have fallen so often and so easily into the same offenses, after having so often and so solemnly promised that I would not commit them anymore. How, indeed, could I ever have brought myself, for the sake of such empty and trifling satisfactions, to rebel against Thee, my God—above all, knowing as well as I do how hateful all sin is in Thy sight and abusing Thy blessings in order to insult Thee? O Father of Mercies, Thou tenderest and best of parents, allow Thy just displeasure against me to be appeased. Punish me not according to the rigor of Thy justice, but in the kindness of Thy compassion, forgive me. Amen.

Other Acts of Contrition  (Version 1)

O MY GOD,  I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell; but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who art all-good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.

(Version 2)

Forgive me my sins, O Lord, forgive me my sins;
the sins of my youth, the sins of my age, the sins of my soul,
the sins of my body; my idle sins, my serious voluntary sins;
the sins I know, the sins I do not know; the sins I have concealed
for so long, and which are now hidden from my memory.

I am truly sorry for every sin, mortal and venial,
for all the sins of my childhood up to the present hour.

I know my sins have wounded Thy Tender Heart,
O My Savior, let me be freed from the bonds of evil through
the most bitter Passion of My Redeemer. Amen.

O My Jesus, forget and forgive what I have been. Amen.

An Act of Resolution

IT was my duty to have sacrificed everything, even life itself, rather than to have sinned against Thee, my God. But since such, alas, has been my misfortune, and since the past is no longer mine, I am at least now firmly resolved, by the help of Thy grace, to be henceforth so watchful over myself as to do nothing that may lead me back into my former sins. For this end, I will carefully shun all those dangers and occasions, all those places and persons, which have been the cause of my relapses. Above all, I will be particularly watchful over my predominant passion, and I will manfully resist all those temptations and avoid all those offenses into which, through habit, weakness or inclination, I have been betrayed and seduced into sin most easily. For this purpose, moreover, I will assiduously make use of those measures of security which shall be suggested to me by Thy priest in the tribunal of Confession. I will attend to his counsels and directions as coming from Thee, because it is in reality to Thee that I answer and to Thee that I promise, in the answers and the promises which I make to him. In short, I now firmly propose for the time to come, no more to offend Thee, renouncing from this day every sinful pleasure and every criminal desire. I will, moreover, make what satisfaction I am able to Thy justice—if not by a life of painful mortification, at least by a life of piety and love, through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.

A Prayer to Beg the Intercession of Our Lady and the Saints Before Confession

MAY the blessed Angels and Saints of God, who rejoice in the conversion of a sinner; and above all, may thou, O Blessed Virgin, the refuge of the penitent and the Mother of Mercies, intercede for me, that the Confession which I am now going to make may not have the effect of rendering me more criminal than I am, but may procure for me the happiness of a reconciliation with my long-offended God and the grace never more to offend Him mortally.

And do thou, likewise, my good Angel, the faithful guardian of my soul and the witness of my past sins and infidelities—do thou, by thy prayers, assist me to rise again and beg that, in this holy Sacrament, I may obtain those helps which may enable me to lead a new life for the time to come. Amen.

The Penitent’s Litany

Have mercy on me, O God, according to Thy great mercy.
And according to the multitude of Thy tender mercies,
blot out my iniquity. [Psalm 50:3].

Lord, have mercy on me.
Christ, have mercy on me.
God the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on me.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on me.
God the Holy Ghost, Perfecter of the elect, etc.
Holy Trinity, one God, etc.
O God, Who by the voice of Thy prophets and Apostles
dost call upon us incessantly to be converted and to abandon our evil ways,
O Divine Saviour, Jesus Christ, Who didst Thyself come on earth to call sinners to repentance,
O Jesus, the Good Shepherd, Who didst come among us to seek and to save the lost sheep,
O Jesus, Who hast declared that unless we do penance, we shall perish everlastingly,
O Jesus, Who desirest not the death of the sinner, but that he be converted and live,
O Jesus, Who hast assured us that there shall be joy in Heaven
over one sinner that is converted and does penance,
O Jesus, Who, in the example of the prodigal son returning home to the bosom of his father,
hast inspired us with confidence in Thy tenderness,
O Jesus, Who for the sake and salvation of sinners wast pleased to undergo so many hardships,
abors and fatigues,
O Jesus, Who didst not refuse to receive publicans and public sinners,
in order to draw them to repentance,
O Jesus, Who callest upon us to be converted to Thee with all our hearts,

Have mercy upon me,
O Lord, and hear my prayer.
Have mercy upon me,
O Lord, and hear my petition.

From all evil, Deliver me, O Lord.
From all sin, Deliver me, O Lord.
From the spirit of impenitence and from all hardness of heart, etc.
From final impenitence, etc.
By Thy Baptism and holy fasting,
By Thy labors and sorrows,
By the merits of Thy Precious Blood, which Thou hast shed for my sins,
On the Day of Judgment,

That Thou would vouchsafe in Thy mercy to create in me
a new heart and a new mind,
I beseech Thee to hear me, O Lord.

That Thou would vouchsafe to conduct me to true repentance,
I beseech Thee to hear me, O Lord.

That as I have imitated the Prodigal in his sins,
so may I also imitate him in his sorrow, etc.

That as I am the lost sheep, so Thou, as the Good Shepherd,
deign kindly to carry me back to the fold upon Thy shoulders,

That as hitherto I have served iniquity unto iniquity,
so henceforth I may serve justice unto sanctification,

That I may cultivate all the virtues of the truly penitent
and bring forth fruits worthy of piety,

That for the time to come, renouncing all impiety and worldly desires, I may live chastely, soberly and innocently.

That Thou wilt give me the grace and courage to resist my passions,to bend my will to obedience to Thy laws,
and to crucify my flesh with its vices and concupiscences,

That, like the prudent virgins in the Gospel, I may be always watchful,
that I may cherish prayer and that I may cultivate industry,

That I may with confidence have recourse to the throne of grace,
that thus I may obtain grace in seasonable aid,

That Thou wouldst not deal with me according to my sins,
but in Thine infinite tenderness, have pity upon me,

That I may so purify myself by penance and by the sufferings of this life
as to avoid those torments which are reserved for the impenitent hereafter,

O Lamb of God,
Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare me, O Lord.
O Lamb of God,
Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear me, O Lord.
O Lamb of God,
Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy upon me, O Lord.

Let Us Pray.
O God, Who willest not the death of the sinner, but that he be converted and live, vouchsafe in Thy mercy to look down in compassion upon my misery and my weakness, in order that, remembering that I am only dust and ashes and that soon, in punishment for my sins, I must return to dust and ashes again, I may thus be prepared to receive the pardon of my manifold offenses and receive that recompense which Thou hast promised to the penitent, through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.

O Father of Mercies and Tender Physician of our Souls, I have grievously sinned against Thee, and I am no longer worthy to be called Thy child. I have repaid Thy benefits with ingratitude and Thy graces with neglect. I have merited Thy displeasure and have deserved the heavy weight of Thy punishments. Deeply aware of this, my unhappy state, behold, I now present myself before Thee to implore Thy pardon. Pardon me then, O God of Love, and remember not the sins of my past life. Remember only that Thou art my Father and that I am still Thy child. Thy mercy still exceeds the greatness of my misery. Wherefore, O God, unworthy sinner that I am, I will not cease to confide in Thee. In Thee, O Lord, I have trusted; let me not be confounded forever. I propose from henceforth daily to bewail my past ingratitude, and I now make at Thy feet the firm resolution never more to offend Thee mortally, and to fly with the most prudent care from all those occasions which I know by experience are dangerous to my weakness. By the help of Thy grace, I will adopt the securest means of overcoming my passions and of subduing my evil habits, through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.

An Act of Patience

I WILL speak to Our Lord, I who am but dust and ashes and as the shadow that passes away. Remember, O Lord, what I am, and what my being is.

Remember that Thou hast made me out of clay, and unto earth I shall return again. Show not therefore Thy power against me, for what strength have I to bear it? And how shall I, being so weak as I am, hold out with patience? Why then has my Lord stretched forth His hand against me and let this disorder seize on my spirits and cast me on the bed of sickness? But rather, why do I now lift up my head against Heaven and appear uneasy under the decrees of the Almighty? No, I will rather choose to say that it is Our Lord Who has given health and strength; it is Our Lord Who has taken it away; as it has seemed good to Our Lord, so be it done. Blessed be the name of Our Lord. Thus I say, my God; thus I think. Thou art just, O Lord; Thy judgment is right; I have deserved far greater punishment than this. Were I to be my own judge and the punisher of my own wickedness, I could take nothing off of the evil which I now suffer. In what I feel, I acknowledge the hand of a tender Father, chastising a rebellious child; it is not the arm of a severe judge, punishing me in the justice of His wrath. But this one thing, O merciful Father, I ask of Thee however: that Thou wouldst remember what I am: that I am frail and weak, that of myself I can do nothing and how much I stand in need of Thy grace to support and comfort me. Grant me, therefore, I beseech Thee, strength to suffer; give me patience, for this is necessary for me. Grant this my request, and then behold my heart is ready, O Lord; my heart is ready to accept whatever Thou art pleased to lay upon me—and even to be comforted under Thy scourge. Let it be the effect of Thy mercy, that in patience I may possess my soul. For this end I will often look on the face of Thy Christ, that by considering Him Who suffered so much for me, I may be encouraged to suffer. He became obedient unto death, even to the death of the Cross. But as for me, I have not yet resisted unto blood; I have yet suffered but little. Yet how much shall I then suffer when the time shall come when the pangs of death shall seize upon me!

An Act of Resignation

O LORD Jesus Christ, Thou art my refuge; in Thee I believe and put my trust. Thou hast been my protector from my youth, and now I have none to trust in, none to depend upon, but only Thee, my God. Behold then, the straits I am now in: I have life and death before me, but what to fear or what to hope I know not. I know not what is expedient or best for me; Thou knowest, O Jesus. Do Thou with me, therefore, what Thou dost please; dispose of me as Thou knowest best, for I am Thine with all my heart, and into Thy hands I surrender all that I have or am. Amen.


My Lord God, even now I accept at Thy hands, cheerfully and willingly, with
all its anxieties, pains and sufferings, whatever kind of death it shall please
Thee to be mine. Amen.