Taken from
Bishop Richard Challoner
Published on the World Wide Web by Generous Permission of
TAN BOOKS [9.00]




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.

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.


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