Prayers Before Confession

Come, Holy Spirit, enlighten my mind that I may clearly know my sins. Move my heart that I may be sincerely sorry for them, honestly confess them and firmly resolve to amend my life. Spirit of Wisdom, grant me to see the malice of sin and my ingratitude toward You, the all-loving God. Spirit of Fortitude, help me to make whatever sacrifice is needed to avoid sin in the future. Amen.

This next prayer was written by the great 18th Century Saint Alphonsus Liguori, one of the Doctors of the Church (those saints recognized for their exemplary holiness and significant teachings) who authored many books about our faith.

O my God, help me to make a good confession. Mary, my dearest Mother, pray to Jesus for me. Help me to examine my conscience, enable me to obtain true sorrow for my sins, and beg for me the grace rather to die than to offend God again. Lord Jesus, light of our souls, who enlightens every man coming into this world, enlighten my conscience and my heart by Thy Holy Spirit, so that I may perceive all that is displeasing to Thy divine majesty and may expiate it by humble confession, true contrition, and sincere repentance. Amen.

The following prayer for Christ’s help before Confession brings to mind some Scripture verses: The first is from John 20:23 which established the structural foundation for priests’ being able to forgive sins in Our Lord’s name. The second (from Mark 10:46-52) touches on one of the Blind Men whom Our Lord gave his sight back.

O my God, I come before You to beg of You the grace to make a good confession. I wish to confess my sins and to obtain forgiveness for them through the merits of Your most Precious Blood. I believe that the priest takes Your place in this Sacrament of Penance. When he forgives me, it is You who forgive. I need Your grace in order worthily to confess my sins. I beg of You to enlighten me and help me to examine my conscience. Let me not be blind to my own sinfulness. I know that there are many things in my soul that are displeasing to You. Self-love blinds and deceives me, Oh, help me to know myself as I really am. Be merciful to me, good Jesus. I cry out to You like the blind man, “Lord, that I may see.” Stretch forth Your hand and drive out the blindness from my soul. Amen.

Let Jesus drive away your blind spots through prayers such as these, scripture study, and the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Penance. A good Confession provides not only God’s forgiveness, but a restoration of our spiritual sight lost by sin, so that we can see ourselves as we really are, and more importantly, as the kind of Catholic Christians Christ wishes us to be!

Our Lord, through the priest acting in His name, wants to help you advance in grace and forgive you through your confession! Jesus Himself charged His apostles, and by extension, His church with administering this Sacrament when He appeared to them after His resurrection as we read in John 20:23.  The priest is there to give you guidance, along with God’s grace in absolution, through his advice and insights.

Marian Doxology
Come Holy Spirit