« AnteriorContinua »
When you have duly examined your conscience', don't think this is all you have to do in order to be rightly prepared for confession; the greatest part of the work remains still to be done; and that is, to take proper time and care to procure a hearty sorrow and detestation of all your sins, by w which you have offended so good a God, with a full determination, with the grace of God, to avoid the like sins for the future, and to fly the occasions that usually bring you to sin; and to take proper measures to begin a new life.
"In order to obtain this hearty sorrow for your sins, and this firm purpose of amendment, you must earnesly beg it of God, whose gift it is; and you must make use of such prayers, considerations, and meditations, as may be most proper to move you to it. Particularly reflect on the four last things, on the enormity of sin, on the goodness of God and his benefits to you, on the death and passion of Christ, &c. And when you have obtained this hearty sorrow and Besolution, then you may hope that
you are sufficiently prepared for con fession, and not till then.
"If you have any thing upon your conscience, which you have a particular difficulty of confessing, cease not with prayers and tears to importune your heavenly Father to assist yon in this regard, till he gives you the grace to overcome that dif ficulty; and be sure never to go to confession with a design of telling a lie to the Holy Ghost. Ah! what a comfort it will be to you to ease your conscience of its load! and what a rack and torture sacrilegiously to conceal it!
"Let your confession be humble without seeking excuses for your sins or laying the fault on others; let it be entire as to the kind and nunber of your sins, and such circum. stances as quite change the nature of the sin, or notoriously aggravate it. Be modest in your expressions, and take care not to name any third
A prayer to implore the divine assistance, in order to make a good confession.
Almighty and most merciful God, who hast made me out of nothing, and redeemed me by the precious blood of thy only Son; who hast, with so much patience, borne with me to this day, notwithstanding all my sins and ingratitude; ever calling after me to return to thee from the ways of vanity and iniquity, in which I have been quite wearied out in the pursuit of empty toys and mere shadows; seeking in vain to satisfy my thirst with muddy waters, and my hunger with husks of swine; behold, most gracious Lord, I now sincerely desire to leave all these my evil ways, to forsake this region of death, where I have so long lost myself, and to return to thee, the Fountain of life. I desire, like the prodigal child. to enter seriously into myself, and with the like resolution to arise without delay, and go home to my Father, though I am infinite, ly unworthy to be called his child, in hopes of meeting with the like reception from his most tender mercy. L.
But, O my God, though I can go astray from thee fast enough of myself, yet I cannot make one step towards returning to thee, unless thy divine grace stir me up and assist me. This grace, then, I most humbly implore, prostrate in spirit before the throne of thy mercy; I beg it for the sake of Jesus Christ, thy Son, who died upon the cross for my sins; I know thou desirest not the death of a sinner, but that he be converted and live: I know thy mercies are above all thy works; and I most confidently hope, as in thy mercy thou hast spared me so long, and hast now given me this desire of returning to thee; so thou wilt finish the work that thou hast begun, and bring me to a perfect reconciliation with thee.
1 desire now to comply with thy holy institution of the sacrament of penance; I desire to confess my sins with all sincerity to thee and to thy minister; and therefore I desire to know myself, and to call myself to an account by a diligent examination of my conscience. But, O my God, hotv miserably shall deceive myself, if K vi
thou assist me not in this great work by thy heavenly light. Oh! remove then every veil that hides any. of my sins from me, that I may see them all in their true colours, and may sin➡ cerely detest them. O let me not any longer be imposed upon by the enemy, or by my own self-love, so as to mistake vice for virtue, to hide myself from myself, or any way to flatter myself in my sins.
But, O my good God, what will it avail me to know my sins, if thou dost not also give me a hearty sorow and repentance for them; without this my sins will be all upon me still, and I shall be still thine enemy, and a child of hell. Thou insis test upon a change of heart, without which there can be no reconciliation with thee; and this change of heart none but thou canst give. O give it me then, dear Lord, at this time, Give me a lively faith, and a firm hope in the passion of my Redeemer; teach me to fear thee, and to love thee. Give me, for thy mercy's sake a hearty sorrow for having offended so good a God. Teach me to detest