Devout Exercises of Preparation and Thanksgiving
for Confession and Holy Communion
EXERCISES FOR CONFESSION
Soul, that dost belong to God, read and consider these devout exercises. The more you read and make your own these good and fervent thoughts, the more will you please Jesus, and the greater your reward in the life eternal. If at the first sentence you find yourself struck with devotion and compunction, pass no farther on, but rest where God hath begun to draw and work upon you.
When circumstances prevent your communicating sacramentally, fail not to do so spiritually, breathing out your love to Jesus, and desiring to receive Jesus in the Sacrament. Prepare yourself for this spiritual Communion by the following devout acts, affections, and exercises.
Exercises for Confession
Weep, O my soul, for all your sins; detest your guilt beyond every form of calamity; and do so with the purpose of Confession: for by your sins you have offended God your Father; you have offended God your Creator; you have offended your God Who hath never injured you; you have offended God Who hath elected you for His adopted son; you have offended God Who hath made you an inheritor of paradise; you have offended God, the highest Good—–goodness infinite—–the fountain of grace; you have offended God while in the very act of blessing you.
Weep for your sins, because you have offended a God Who for love of you made Himself man; you have offended a God Who for love of you was born in a stable; you have offended a God Who, while yet in His infancy, began to shed tears and Blood for you; you have offended a God Who for love of you lived poor and unknown in a workman’s shed; you have offended a God Who for love of you went about preaching His heavenly doctrine amid toil and misery; you have offended a God Who for love of you instituted the most holy Sacraments; you have offended a God Who for love of you has left Himself to be entirely yours in the Most Holy Sacrament; you have offended a God Who sweated Blood for love of you; you have offended a God Who let Himself be bound and dragged and outraged for love of you; you have offended a God Who caused Himself to be buffeted, to be spit upon, to be kicked again and again, for love of you; you have offended a God Who chose to be tied to a pillar, and scourged, for love of you; you have offended a God Who chose to be crowned with thorns for love of you; you have offended a God Who let Himself be robed as a mock king, and made an object of jest and ridicule, for love of you; you have offended a God Who let Himself be loaded with a heavy Cross for love of you; you have offended a God Who caused His Hands and His Feet to be pierced with great nails for love of you; you have offended a God Who gave His last gasp hanging nailed on a Cross for love of you; you have offended a God Who let gall and vinegar be given to Him to drink for love of you; you have offended a God Who for a last pledge of His unbounded love, left you as a son to Mary, and Mary as mother to you; you have offended a God Who died transfixed upon a Cross for your salvation; you have offended a God Who let His Side be broken through by a spear for love of you; you have offended a God Who chose to be buried in a tomb; you have offended a God Who rose again to life, and sits at the right hand of the Father, to give Paradise to you; you have offended Jesus Christ your Redeemer, your Master, your Life, the Physician of your soul; you have offended a God Who hath tried hard by infinite kindness to get loved by you; you have offended a God Who seeks no recompense for so many benefits, Out only to be loved in return by you, and obeyed by you; you have offended a God Who seeks after your love in order to make you happy in this life, and, oh, how happy in the next! You have offended a God Who loves you as the pupil of His eye. My soul, my soul, you have done ill—–and you could bear to do so! What harm had your God done to you? Tell me why you have offended Him. Begin now at least to lament your sins, and to love God.
Oh, if I had always loved and served that God Who has loved me more than His own life! My love, my life, my salvation, my hope! I love Thee above all things, with my whole heart; I detest my sins more than any sort of affliction. I will confess my sins, and I wish never again to offend Thee, O my dear Redeemer!
Prayer before Confession
O most loving Trinity, and most worthy of all love, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, my God, I adore Thee. Behold this wretched creature at Thy feet, who desires to make his peace with Thee by means of a good Confession. But since, O my God, without Thy help I can do nothing but evil, I beseech of Thee, by the bowels of Thy compassion, to grant me light, that I may recollect all my sins; make me to perceive the hideousness and the enormity of sin, so that I may abhor and detest it with all my heart. O my Jesus, Fountain of pity, I draw near to Thee that Thou mayest wash and cleanse me of my filth. O Sun of justice, illuminate this poor blind creature. O Divine Physician, heal this poor sick man. O infinite Love, inflame this soul with Thy love, so that it may break down and dissolve in tears of grief. And may this my confession be such that I may now in earnest change my life, and never again find myself separated from Thee, my God my hope, my love, the salvation, life, and peace of my poor soul!
Prayer after Confession
Dear Jesus, be Thou forever blessed, for having by Thy pardon freed me from Hell, and replaced me in my inheritance of Paradise. Infinite Goodness, I thank Thee. But, O my God, I am capable of betraying Thee more than ever, and worse than Judas: I cannot trust to myself. Help, help me with Thy grace; hold Thy hands above me; help me in my temptations, and, oh, far rather take away my life than let me again offend Thee!