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To prepare yourself well to receive the sacrament of penance, (or the forgiveness of your sins) you must do five things:
1° Examine your conscience;
2° Be sorry for your sins;
3° Take a firm resolution not to offend God again;
4° Confess one’s sins to the priest;
5° Accept the penance which the priest imposes.
If you do not have the opportunity to confess, you can receive absolution for your sins, even serious ones, at the general absolution given daily by the priests before Mass, provided that you have contrition for your sins and the firm intention of accusing them at the next opportunity.
Holy Spirit, infinite source of light and love, have mercy on a miserable sinner who cannot by himself know his iniquities, nor conceive a salutary sorrow for them. Enlighten me, my God; make me see both the evil I have committed and the good I have neglected since my last confession; do not allow me to hide from myself; tear away the veil of malice that self-love too often puts before my eyes. Show me Yourself the evil I have dared to commit against Your adorable Majesty; the harm I have caused my neighbor, and all the transgressions I have allowed myself against the sacred promises of my baptism.
O my God, by the love which led You to create me, and then to redeem me by Your incarnation, deign to lead me and direct me in this confession which I am about to make for love of You.
O Mary, Mother of my Redeemer, my heart is full of thorns and brambles that only the grace of your Son can uproot in me. The wounds of my soul have become so deep! But I have in Your Son a skilled physician who alone has the power and the will to heal them. Implore therefore for me His help, so that, free from all evil, I may be pleasing to Him. Amen!
Three Hail Marys.
Sins against God:
Omissions or negligence in my duties of piety, irreverence in church, omissions from daily prayers, willful distractions in prayers, failure to pay attention, resistance to grace, lack of trust and resignation. Complaints and revolts against God. Pronouncing the name of God, of the Blessed Virgin, or of religious things without respect (cursing and swearing).
Against our neighbor:
Reckless judgments, contempt, hatred, jealousy, desires for revenge, quarrels, outbursts, backbiting, mockery, false reports, causing discord, damage to property, bad example, lack of respect, obedience, charity. Damage to reputation and destruction through social networks. Guilty pleasure in learning the sins of others or peddling them: media and evil speech.
Vanity, human respect, selfishness, lies, evil thoughts, desires, speech and actions contrary to purity, intemperance, impatience, laziness to fulfill the duties of one’s state.
O God my Father, I have sinned against Heaven and against You, I am not worthy to be called Your child. I acknowledge before You and in the bitterness of my soul, the multitude and the enormity of my offenses. Ah, who will give to my eyes torrents of tears to grieve them as they deserve to be grieved. O infinite goodness, it is for Your love that I detest my iniquities; it is through the infinite merits of Jesus Christ my Savior that I ask and hope for their forgiveness; it is in His adorable wounds that I come to seek the remedy for the wounds that sin has inflicted on my soul. Lord, have mercy on me, according to Your great mercy; see the sentiments of my heart; increase and confirm in me, by Your grace, the resolution in which I am to avoid sin and the forthcoming occasions of falling into it.
My Lord Jesus Christ, whose own character is to have pity on sinners and to forgive always the repentant heart, here is before You a miserable criminal who implores Your clemency, in the ardent desire to obtain the remission of his faults. My soul is stained with countless sins; that is why I come to You, Lord, who are the source of all purity. Have mercy on me according to the full extent of Your mercy, for my misery is great. Blot out all my sins to the last trace. O my God, who said through Your prophet that in the very hour that the sinner cries over his crime, You will forgive him, forgive me my iniquities; cleanse me from all defilement, and let my soul become white as snow. Speak this comforting word over me, “I absolve you of your sins.” Then peace and joy will descend into my soul, and my whole being will leap with happiness. Amen.
O my soul! thank the Lord your God and recognize the wonders of His mercy towards you. For the frightful torments to which you were justly condemned, this God of goodness is willing to be satisfied with a light reparation, to forgive all and forget all. My God, it is necessary to be what You are, a God full of sweetness, full of mercy, to act thus towards miserable creatures.
How good You are, O my God! I am experiencing this today. But how can I show You my gratitude? The least I can do, O divine Restorer of my soul, is to offer You today and all the days of my life a sacrifice of praise; it is to bless and exalt unceasingly Your infinite mercy. I do this with all my heart, O my God, and I will do it until death.
O Blessed Virgin, Mother of my God, I confess with humble gratitude that I owe to Your prayers the graces that God has given me. Why then, loving Mother, have I been less faithful in serving You than You have been in assisting me? From now on, I want to honor, obey and love You, as much as my weak strength allows me. I protest at this moment that I belong entirely to You: deign to accept my protest and the trust I place in You, and obtain for me from Your beloved Son, my Savior, a living faith, a firm hope, a deep, joyful and faithful love. Obtain for me purity of soul and body, humility beyond measure, unshakeable patience and submission to the will of God. Obtain for me, Blessed Virgin, the grace to imitate faithfully Your virtues, so that I may deserve Your protection at the hour of my death. Amen.
Pater, Ave, Gloria.
O my God, I don’t want to offend You anymore; from this moment, I begin to love You truly. Yes, You are the God of my heart, reign over it as a sovereign King. I love You with all my soul, because You love me with an infinite love. I renounce sin forever, because it offends You. I detest all the sins I have committed and I detest them for love of You, because they displease You, and because You are infinitely holy, infinitely good, infinitely lovable. I firmly resolve not to commit them again; but, my God, You know my weakness, deign to strengthen me. O God, who gives me this good will, bless it, strengthen it so that, whatever occasion that presents itself, whatever temptation that attacks me, I will never separate myself from You or from Your love. Help me, my God, so that my soul may belong to You alone. Command me, I am ready for anything.
O Mary, I come to You and bring to Your feet the trust and confidence of a child. Lower Your eyes on the anguish of my heart, and give me the grace of Your intercession before God, so that I may find grace in His sight; that I may correct myself of this defect, of that fault, and that I may flee above all mortal sin and all occasion to fall into it. Amen.
Sign of the Cross
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and of the Mother of God. Amen.
O Jesus! We are going to walk with You on the road to Calvary which was so painful for You. Make us understand the greatness of Your sufferings, touch our hearts with tender compassion at the sight of Your torments, in order to increase in us the regret of our faults and the love we wish to have for You.
Deign to apply to all of us the infinite merits of Your Passion, and in memory of Your sorrows, show mercy to the souls in Purgatory, especially to those who are most abandoned.
O Divine Mary, who first taught us to make the Way of the Cross, obtain for us the grace to follow Jesus with the sentiments Your Heart was filled with as You accompanied Him on the road to Calvary. Grant that we may weep with You, and that we may love Your divine Son as You do. We ask this in the name of His adorable Heart. Amen.