Prayer: Act of Contrition (modern)
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. In His name, my God, have mercy. Amen.
Gift: Fortitude (Courage) – With the gift of courage, we overcome our fear and are willing to take risk as a follower of Jesus. A person with courage is willing to stand up for what is right in the sight of God, even if it means accepting rejection, verbal abuse, or even physical harm and death.
Reading: I tell you, in just the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance.
In just the same way, I tell you, there will be rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:7,10)
Observation: As I read the familiar parables of the lost sheep and the lost coin this morning, the part that struck me was that Jesus makes a point to say that the angels and God rejoice over the repentance of the sinner. My wife brought up these parables just last night as evidence that we should celebrate when we find a coin. Although I thought I was going to journal on how she missed the point, the truth is that I had missed the point before when reading these parables. It is not about the celebration of a lost sinner, it is a celebration of a lost sinner who repents. Too often, we get so caught up in the celebration, we forget about the need for penance.
Personification: Faithfulness In order to display the fruit of faithfulness today, I must find a way to do real penance for my sins. Don’t get me wrong, I am not proposing that my sins are even worthy of severe punishment or loss of grace, but it is true that I am no less of a worthless sinner than I was the day that I started to accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior. This penance that I am searching for, should be something personal between me and God for sure, but I am open to any suggestions. I found the prayer above in response to the Act of Contrition that I have said before, but it did not include this need for penance. (See below)
Act of Contrition (old school version)
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you, and I detest all my sins, because of your just punishments, 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 occasion of sin. Amen.