St. Michael Prayer

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do, thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the Power of God, cast into hell satan and all of the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Glory to God in the Highest!

Friday, December 13, 2013

How to Make A Good Confession

Sin is a reality.  We are all sinners.  In order to reconcile ourselves to our Loving God, we must  repent of our sinful ways and seek reconciliation with God.  As Catholics, the best way for us to be reconciled with God is through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

By confessing our sins to a priest, through the power granted to a priest in the Sacrament of Holy Orders, the priest is able to grant us the pardon and peace of God. 

How do we make a good confession?  A little preparation is needed.

Step 1:  Before you enter the confessional, say a prayer to the Holy Spirit so that you mind and heart will be open.  He will give you the strength to face your sins, both mortal and venial, and tell them to the priest.  An easy prayer might be:  Come Holy Spirit, Open my mind and my heart.  I am sorry for the offenses I have committed against You, my Loving God.  Give me courage so that I might be open to your graces that will fill my heart once I am open to You.  Come Holy Spirit, come.

Step 2:  Examine your conscience.  Own your sins.  Make no excuses.  Own your sins.  To find resources for an online examination of conscience, click HERE.

Step 3: Be sorry for your sins.  Meditate on how they have offended God. 

Step 4: Begin by entering the confessional.  You may either kneel behind the screen or have a face to face confession with the priest.  Begin by saying, "Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.  It's been (State the amount of time that it's been since your last confession.) since my last confession.  Even if it's been years, be honest with the priest.  If you are unsure what to do next, ask the priest to guide you through the confession. 

Step 5:  Confess your sins.  Begin with the most difficult sins first.  These are usually mortal sins.  What is a mortal sin?  A mortal sin is one in which 3 conditions must be met.  According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1857, "Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent."  In other words, using the Commandment:  Thou Shalt not Kill, if you had murdered some one (grave matter) knowing that it was a grave matter and you killed someone, you have committed a mortal sin.  Murder is not the only mortal sin.  If you do not know, as the priest.  He will be able to tell you which of your sins are mortal and which of your sins are venial.  ***

Step 6:  Recite the Act of Contrition. 

Oh, my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended You, and I detest all my sins because I have offended You, my God, who are all good and worthy of all my love.  I firmly resolve with the help of Your Grace, to sin no more and to avoid the near occasions of sin.  Amen.  

Step 7:  The priest will now assign you a penance.  The penance is usually a prayer or group of prayers to be said, but a penance can be actions, too. 

Step 8:  Before you leave the confessional, the priest will give you the blessings of pardon and peace.  Be open and grateful to this gift.

Step 9:  Leave the confessional and perform your penance.  Spend a some time in prayer thanking God for the gift of His forgiveness.  Ask Him to give you the grace to avoid persons, places or things that might lead you into sin.  Ask Him for the courage to avoid sin.  Tell God how much you love Him. 

***When confessing your sins, do not be afraid.  The priest has heard it all from people of all walks of life, from the powerful to the least.  You will find great relief when you confess no matter how embarrassed you feel at the time.  God's love is unending.  God's mercy is unending. 

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