Considerations to Excite Contrition

These considerations, to be practiced before the Examination of Conscience, are taken from the Manual of Prayers (1889) of the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore.

Considerations to Excite Contrition

1. Place before yourself, as distinctly as you can, the sins which have come to your remembrance, and their circumstances.

2. Consider who God is, against whom you have sinned, how great, how good, how gracious to you ; that He made you, that He gave His Only Son to die for you, that He made you His child in Baptism, that He has loaded you with blessings and prepared heaven for you. Consider how patient He has been with you — how long-suffering in calling you and moving you to repent. Say:

O most Loving God, O infinite Goodness, I repent of having offended Thee; behold me at Thy feet. O my Father, my Creator, my Benefactor, grant me the grace of a true repentance, and the blessing of a free pardon, for Thy dear Son’s sake.

3. Consider the infinite wickedness of sin. Say:

O my Saviour, I behold Thee on the Cross, torn and wounded, Thy sacred Body streaming with Blood ; this is the work of my sin. In Thy Wounds, O my Saviour, I read the greatness of the guilt and malice of my sins. By the greatness of Thy pains and sorrows, O my loving Redeemer, I measure the hatefulness of my offences.

4. Consider the consequences of one mortal sin : that you might justly be now banished from God’s presence for ever for one single unrepented, deadly sin; how many have you not committed! Say:

O my God, how much do I owe Thee for not cutting me off in the midst of my sins. Before I fell into sin, heaven was my home, my inheritance, my country, my blessed resting-place ; by sin I have given up my title to the glory of the Blessed.

For the sake of sin I have lost the love of Jesus, the sight of Mary, the communion with the Blessed Saints and with the Angels. O my God, would that I had never offended Thee, would that I had never consented to sin. In pity behold me now at Thy feet. full of sorrow and compunction.

I hate sin, which is accursed of Thee ; I renounce all that would draw me away from Thee ; I most bitterly repent my sin and folly, which would have deprived me for ever of heaven if Thou hadst not mercifully brought me to repentance. I grieve that I have sinned against Thee, O my God, who art all-good, all-bountiful, all-worthy of love. O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us sinners, who have recourse to thee.

April 21, 2021