What is an “Act of Contrition”? The word “contrition” is taken from the word “contrite” and means to be “remorseful”. Webster's dictionary states that to be this way is to be full of “guilt”.
Is our “Act of Contrition” only about us feeling “guilty”?
The Church tells us there are two kinds of “Contrition”, Perfect and Imperfect. Perfect contrition is motivated by the “ Love” of God. Imperfect is motivated because of the fear of punishment.
Now I've noticed there are a few different “Acts of Contrition Prayers”. I found this out when I looked up the prayer on my “Laudate” app. However, I prefer the most commonly used prayer of contrition.
“Oh my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins because of Thy just punishments, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who art all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy Grace, to sin no more and to avoid the near occasions of sin.”
While saying this prayer I try to ask myself the following questions. I hope these questions will help you when you recite the prayer.
“Oh my God”. Whose God? “My God”.
“I am heartily sorry”. Am I really sorry from my heart? Do I really want to change? Am I just saying words?
“For having offended Thee”. Am I really sorry for offending God?
“And I detest all of my sins.” Really? I detest even the ones that are fun that feel good?
“Because of Thy just punishments”. Am I really ready to accept God's “Just punishments”? I realize His punishments are as He wills and that I must accept whatever He wills because He is “My God, My Lord, My Master, who has all power and control over my life”.
“But most of all because they offend Thee my God”. Do I really believe I have offended God?
“Who art all good and deserving of all my love”. Do I believe God is all “Good”. Can I honestly say I believe in the First Commandment and that God is “First” in my life and therefore, “deserves all my love”?
“ I firmly resolve”. Do I really and truly “firmly resolve”? If so, how do I “firmly resolve”?
“With the help of they Grace”. Yes, I can “firmly resolve” with the “help of Thy Grace”.
And what will your Grace God do for me?
“To sin no more and avoid the near occasions of sin”. Yes, only through the Love and Power of my Lord Jesus Christ can I stop sinning and avoid the temptations of sin.
Praise God thank You Jesus!