Guest contributor: Richard Myer
Prepare yourself before entering into conversation with our Lord. Breath slowly, close your eyes and relax. Empty your mind of the world and all its noise. Place yourself in the presence of God. Enjoy the quiet and gentle spirit of the Lord; relax in his peace, feel the peace of the Holy Spirit come upon you. Allow the warmth to spread through you. Remember he is listening always, especially today, as Lent is the season of penance and spiritual renewal. Feel God’s presence as he looks upon you.
I try to remember my first breath of air, drink of milk, the first bite of solid food, my first steps, or later in life the first time going to the movie theatre, or riding my bicycle or any other firsts. Not being able to remember any of the aforementioned, as they became so numerous, my first sin I cannot, as sin too has become abundant. Through life these all became so frequent I have lost count, lost memory of the first time I drank, ate, took my first steps, and the first sin I committed. Have I always given thanks, have I always trusted, in you my God? Do I complain, find fault, argue, and carry a grudge against others? Have I hurt others throughout time, as I had the evil inclinations to acquire earthly treasures? Have I spoke unkindly about people when they were not present? Have I been angry with myself, others or you my God? Have I not taken care of my body, as Paul wrote, “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, that you are not your own?” Have I judged others, failed to forgive others, or stolen from others? Have I desired worldly things with such intensity, I attempted to worship two masters? Have I lied or exaggerated, tried to make others see things differently from the way they really were? Did I abstain from fleshly lusts, or indulge in any lustful activity? Have I been a hypocrite or full of lawlessness? Have I become a stumbling block for the weak by not following the example of Christ? Have any of these sins been my first, or can it be another? My God the sins I have committed have become so numerous I know not which might have been my first. My sins, through my thoughts, desires, deeds, words and actions have spread to others. What example am I showing others? Do I want my friends, family, or acquaintances to follow in these footsteps? Do I want them to become enslaved to the devil? I have become unclean as my sins have soiled my soul; my soul has become stained with sin. When did I first commit a sin?
Lord I have ignored your presence, looking only for self gratification. Sin has weakened me, and has made me more inclined to sin. I am dominated by sin more and more each day. I became a hearer of the word and not a doer, for I was like a man who looks at his own face in a mirror. He sees himself, then goes off and promptly forgets what he looks like (James 1:24). My faith was dead as there were no works.
My wealth will rot away, my gold and silver corrode, my clothes become moth eaten, and these treasures are no longer of value. Why didn’t I see the treasures you have given me; the treasures that will be with me through eternity? Why then have I sinned?
Sin is infinitely wicked against what is infinitely good. My dear God, please forgive me, give me guidance, make known your ways to me Lord, guide me, and wash away my guilt so my afflictions will disappear. As I confess my faults, please take away the guilt of my sin. You have been so good to me, choosing me to have life, placing me in a good loving family, and providing for all my needs. You have given me the Sacraments, as I let the fruits of these wither, like weeds pulled from the dirt laying in the hot sun. As you are continuously running after me to save me, I run the other way. For as long as I kept silent, my bones wasted away. Please God, help me rise from my sins with the grace you have bestowed upon me through the sacraments, which have derived their power from your son.
I detest all my sins because they have offended you. Without you I can do nothing, teach me to find a new life through penance. Awaken me my Lord, as I beg for your forgiveness, as I have sinned against you, and my brothers and sisters. My sins are more numerous then the sands of the sea. My God that is good and deserving of all my love, I am truly sorry for having offended thee, I beg for thy mercy and forgiveness.
Lord please remember my first sacrament, Baptism, for your forgiveness of sin. It unites us with your son, Christ our Lord who died and rose, and gives us the Holy Spirit. Remember this has not abolished the frailty and weakness of human nature, nor the inclination to sin. With your grace and the help of your son, Christ our Lord, may sin no longer be an obstacle, hindering my entrance in to your heavenly kingdom. Remember Lord, the blood of your son, our Lord Jesus washed away our sins. May I live my life as an example of your son, and the Saints that have gone before me? I can never do enough to make up for the serious faults I committed. Please allow the light of your healing presence to shine into the deepest recesses of my being, cleansing, healing, refreshing and renewing me. Please, may I accept the full forgiveness that you offer me continually.
You have been patiently waiting for this moment. The sins I have committed appeared so small, yet they are now like mountains. I must struggle each day to climb over these mountains. Please Father take my hand, instill courage in my heart, and lead me over the mountain which I have created. I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance and amend my life. Send your spirit to make me strong in faith and active in good works. Give me the grace to rise above my human weaknesses.
Please remember your Saint Augustine, whom for many years lived a sinful life. May Paul’s letter to the Romans, where Paul says to stop living an immoral life and live in imitation of Jesus, (chapter 13) have the same affect on me as it did for Saint Augustine? May I also begin a new life? May it not be too late that I have loved you.
I pray to Saint Joseph to help strengthen me in my spiritual growth. Saint Joseph, we bless the Lord for choosing you to be the one to raise the Son of God. You loved Jesus with a father’s love and he loved you with the love of a son. You held him in your arms and helped him take his first steps. You heard his first words and taught him his prayers. By faith you adored in him the Incarnate Son of God, while he obeyed you, served you, and listened to you. You held pleasant conversations with him, shared work, great sufferings and most tender consolations. Obtain for me the grace never to offend Jesus by sin. Pray for me that I may nourish myself often at the Eucharist and experience Jesus’ mercy in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Through your prayers may we attain to a great intimacy with Jesus and a tender strong love for him while on earth, that we might possess him forever in Heaven. Saint Anthony, I seek your intercession. With heartfelt sorrow for my sins, and trust in your prayers to God for me, I ask your help, your protection, your counsel, and your blessing. Obtain for me from God all the Graces necessary for my spiritual welfare and the particular favor I ask at this time. Give me strength to have only good desires and sin no more. Help me acquire the treasures of our Father’s heavenly kingdom. Heavenly Father, during this time of Lent, as we remember the passion of your son, I seek your help that I may imitate Christ your son and share his love with someone in need. Help me to pass from my old life of sin to the new life of grace.
Our Father who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be thy name;
Thy kingdom come
Thy will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us;
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
Blessed Virgin Mary, please intercede on my behalf, that I may no longer offend thy son with sin.
Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.
Glory be to the Father and to
the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning is
Now, and ever shall be, world