A Catholic Act of Contrition prayer is a deeply personal act that engages the person’s will. The prayer often involves saying the words “sorrow,” “acknowledge wrongdoing,” and pledging to amend one’s life and avoid sin.
The Latin text of the prayer is given below; the English translations follow closely. If you have never prayed the Act of Contrition, you will want to start by learning what it is.
The act of contrition is a Catholic prayer that allows us to express regret for our guilt and the desire for penance before God. Strongly associated with the sacrament of reconciliation, it can be prayed, however, privately or collectively in recognition of our sins. Find out why and how to make an act of contrition.
Act of contrition Prayer
“Jesus, my Lord, and Redeemer, I repent of all the sins I have committed until today and it weighs me with all my heart because with them I have offended such a good God.
I firmly propose not to sin again and I trust that by your infinite mercy you will grant me forgiveness for my sins and you will lead me to eternal life.
Why make an act of contrition?
“Blessed is the man who is acquitted of sin and whose guilt has been blotted out.” (Psalms 32:1)
Every sin is a wound inflicted on Christ and adds to the burden we must carry. Acknowledging one’s faults, and expressing real repentance allows us to draw closer to the Lord, experience his love and his infinite mercy, and feel truly free.
We are sinners but we are not condemned to remain prisoners of our sins. Jesus died to redeem them. The act of contrition allows us to place ourselves at the foot of his cross. Therefore, it is intimately related to the act of faith, the act of charity, and the act of hope, because by asking for the grace of forgiveness, we also ask God, with faith and hope, for the strength and courage to do penance and do not make this mistake again.
“I tell you that, in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven for a single sinner who repents than for 99 righteous who have no need of conversion.” (Luke 15:7)
How to pray the act of contrition?
Alone, during mass, or at the time of confession
The act of contrition is an integral part of the sacrament of reconciliation and is prayed at the end of the confession, before receiving absolution from the priest. There’s also:
• Prayers to be said before confession, to help us become aware and recognize our sins.
• And prayers that are said afterward to give thanks for the forgiveness received.
The act of contrition can also be prayed at other times. We may want to do it at night, to acknowledge our weaknesses and shortcomings of the day, and thus begin our evening prayer with a prayer of repentance.
We need to develop a culture of forgiveness every day and that is possible with our prayers to ask God for forgiveness and to forgive.
Finally, at the beginning of each Mass, the whole assembly is invited to recognize themselves as sinners and pray together an act of contrition with the prayer of I sinful or I confess to God.
Two other prayers of contrition
“Lord, I admit that I have often offended you. I am deeply sorry. I beg you, forgive me for my infidelities and offenses! Grant me the grace to never fall into sin again and flee from it. I sincerely want to repair my faults and do penance.”
“Forgive me, my God, I have sinned against you and against my brothers, but near you I will find forgiveness. Accept my repentance and give me the strength to live according to your love.”
The Catholic act of contrition prayer, also called the “Acclamation of Sin” prayer, is a powerful form of penance. It is prayed after confessing one’s sins to a priest, who grants absolution by the grace of God. It is incredibly personal prayer and is often referred to by the Latin text.
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