"The whole of Christian life is like a great pilgrimage to the house of the Father, whose unconditional love for every human creature, and in particular for the "prodigal son" we discover anew each day." Pope John Paul II
Before entering the confessional reflect on past actions and thoughts. Recall what you are sorry about and want to tell God. If after your examination of conscience you are still uncertain how to go about your reconciliation ask the priest to guide you and help you make a thorough confession. Do not be fearful to ask questions; he will give counsel and encouragement. Enter the reconciliation room assured of God’s goodness rather than burdened fear. Make the Sign of the Cross together with the priest who is a representative in the flesh of the loving and forgiving Christ. Mention how long it has been since your last confession. Mention your sins and the priest will then suggest a penance. Confession will end with the Act of Contrition, absolution and a blessing by the priest.
We are called to Your sacrament—invited to accept Your divine giving grace and forgiving love. We are drawn to You, Lord as inevitably as rain to the ocean of Your mercy, falling freely as sweet tears of reconciliation, raised up to heaven by Your Light. In this sacrament, our human nature experiences Your full humanity in the person of the priest as one who has known sin and sorrow as we have. Through the outward witnessing and sharing of our failures and our fears on a personal level with You, we are deeply moved by Your compassion and understanding to recall our hidden spiritual self—opening ourselves to the mystery of Your love and mercy. This "opening" of ourselves to You is not only a justification of our free will but a sanctification of it as well, serving as a sign of both Your grace working in us and the source of that grace, Your Passion. By the grace of Your forgiveness, may we be present at the glory of Your Resurrection.
Act of Contrition (Remorse)
Oh 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 I have offended You, my God,
who are all good and worthy 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.