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Catholic Prayer For Reconciliation

If you’re looking for a prayer to help you reconcile with someone, this is the one.

This prayer is useful in many situations: when you’ve been hurt by someone, when you’ve hurt someone else, or when you’re just feeling like there’s too much tension in your relationship with someone. The key to using this prayer effectively is to really mean it—and then let go of the outcome.

When we say “I am sorry” with sincerity, we are acknowledging that we are responsible for our actions and their effects on others. We are also expressing remorse for what we did wrong and admitting that we need forgiveness. Finally, asking for forgiveness is an expression of hope—it means we want our relationship to get better!

In order for reconciliation to take place, both parties must be willing to forgive each other. That doesn’t mean one person has to forget what happened—it means they have decided that they will no longer hold onto resentment towards their partner because of those events. It also means that they are ready to move forward with their lives together as if nothing happened at all (minus the lessons learned).

Catholic Prayer For Reconciliation

I deeply regret any offense I have caused Thee, and I abhor my sins not only because they deserve punishment from an all-holy and all-loving God like Thee, but also because they bring shame upon me. With Thy grace, I am resolute in my commitment to stop sinning and to stay away from tempting situations. Amen.

My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against you whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us.

Once you have completed your Examination Of Conscience, and you have told God that you are deeply sorry for your sins, enter the confessional box (or reconciliation room).You may either:- Kneel before the screen, or- Sit so you can talk face to face to the priest.You begin by saying these words (or similar ones.)”I confess to Almighty God and to you, Father, that I have sinned. My last confession was ______________ weeks (months, years) ago.”You say one of the following:”Since then, I do not recall committing any mortal sins.”Or”Since then, I have committed mortal sins. They are…” (mention the sins, how many times they were committed and related circumstances.)And then…”My venial sins are…” (mention the sins and the number of times.)Or”I do not recall having committed any venial sins””For these and all the sins that I have committed during my life, I am deeply sorry.” Then listen to the words of the priest. When invited to do so, make an Act Of Contrition.Example:(“O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended You. I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of hell. But most of all because they offend You, my God, Who are all good and deserving 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.”)Next,- Listen to the priest’s words of forgiveness (absolution), and- Make the Sign of the Cross with the priest.If the priest says, “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good,”You answer,”For His mercy endures forever.”Then you leave the confessional box (reconciliation room) and you say the penance that the priest gave you.

For Catholics, the sacrament of Confession (also known as Reconciliation or Penance) is a wonderful opportunity to encounter the mercy of God through the ministry of the priest. God always offers grace and forgiveness through Confession, but you can increase your openness to this grace by making Confession a prayerful experience before, during, and after confessing.

Prayer Before Confession

Sometimes the hardest part of Confession comes before we even receive the sacrament! It is common to feel anxious about going to Confession and to be ashamed of our sins. What is important to remember, however, is that going to Confession is like going to see a doctor. The more honest we are about what is wrong (whether it is being honest about our sins in confession or being honest about our symptoms with a doctor), the easier it will be for us to experience healing.  Preparing well to go to Confession can help you not only make a good Confession, but also feel less anxious about going to Confession.

Preparation for Confession can be broken down into three steps:

  1. Invite the Holy Spirit into your preparations
  2. Do an Examination of Conscience
  3. Write down your sins (this is optional but can be very helpful)

Invite the Holy Spirit

In the spiritual life, we are always guided by the Holy Spirit, so the first step to spiritual preparation for Confession is to invite the Holy Spirit into your heart. Ask him to show you your sins and to inspire in you a proper spirit of repentance. This can be a simple prayer, as simple as saying,

“Holy Spirit, come into my heart and show me my sins. Give me a proper spirit of repentance and the grace to make a good confession. Give me your peace that I might not be anxious but rather trust in your abundant mercies.”

Examination of Conscience

Once you have invited the Holy Spirit into your preparations, it is time to make an examination of conscience, searching your conscience to discern where you have fallen short through actions, thoughts, words, and even inaction.

Fortunately, there are many resources to help with your examination of conscience. Sometimes your church will have pamphlets that contain an examination of conscience. You can also find several examinations of conscience online. Today, there are even phone apps for Confession that include examinations of conscience. If you are not sure what prayers to say during Confession or how to respond to the priest, or if you don’t have an Act of Contrition memorized, these resources often also have guides to Confession that will walk you through the process of receiving the sacrament. Here’s one we have put together.

Many examinations of conscience are organized along the themes of the Ten Commandments, listing specific sins that violate each commandment. Some of them also include the precepts of the Church as part of the examination. You should also try to be aware of other ways you may have fallen short not mentioned in these guides. The more frequently you examine your conscience, the more you will be aware of sins you have committed. It is a good idea, although not required, to examine your sins on a regular basis even when you are not going to Confession immediately afterwards.

Write Down Your Sins

It may help to write down your sins as you examine your conscience. This way you will not have to worry about forgetting your sins when you walk into the confessional. This will help the process of confessing your sins because you will know exactly what to confess. It can also help the final stages of preparation for Confession, because instead of trying to make sure you remember all of your sins you can spend the last moments before you enter the Confessional saying a final prayer that you may make a good Confession. You might have to wait in line, and this can be a helpful time to say some final prayers of preparation.

You might pray along these lines:

God, thank you for showing me the things that wound my relationship with you. Calm my nerves and give me the grace to make a good Confession, not holding anything back due to shame or anxiety. Thank you for the gift of this Sacrament.

During Confession

Depending on where you go to confession, you will usually have a choice of going face-to-face with the priest or behind a screen. Either way is fine; it’s just a matter of what you prefer. The priest is not allowed to tell anyone your sins, so don’t worry about the priest knowing who you are if you go face-to-face. The priest will keep your confession a secret whether or not he knows who you are.

When you enter the confessional, the priest will begin by making the Sign of the Cross. Make the Sign of the Cross along with him and say, “Amen.”

Then, say, “Bless me Father, for I have sinned. My last confession was [then tell him how long ago your last confession was].”

Now it is time to confess your sins. You should begin by saying, “These are my sins.” Then list your sins. It is not necessary to go into great detail as long as you confess your sins fully and honestly. For example, if you lied to a friend, you don’t need to talk about all of the circumstances surrounding the lie. You can just confess that you lied, and if the priest thinks he needs to know the circumstances, he can ask you when you are done confessing your sins. You must confess any mortal sins you have committed. It is also a good idea, although not required, to confess your venial sins. When you have confessed your sins, finish with, “For these and all my sins I am heartily sorry.” This will cover confessing any sins you may have forgotten about or are not aware of committing, as well as letting the priest know that you are done confessing your sins.

The priest may offer you some advice or ask further questions about what you have confessed, but this is not essential to the sacrament.

Next, the priest will ask you to make an Act of Contrition. Although you are not required to say any particular Act of Contrition, and you can even make up your own, most people like to have an Act of Contrition memorized or written down. If you don’t have one memorized, the same places you can get an examination of conscience (a pamphlet about confession, a phone app, or the internet) will often provide you with an act of contrition. If you do not have it written down or forget the words of the Act of Contrition when you are in the confessional, you can also ask the priest to guide you through an Act of Contrition.

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