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goodness, secure me, by thy grace, against all my wonted failings for the time to come.
Thou didst come, Odcar Redeemer, not to call the just, but sinners to repentance; behold a miserable sinner here before thee : 0, draw me powerfully to thy. self.
Have mercy on me, O God, according to thy great mercy; and, according to the multitude of thy tender mercies, blot out my iniquities. Sprinkle me with thy precious blood, and I shall be whiter than snow.
How great is thy goodness, O Lord, in having so long spared such a worthless servant, and waited with so much patience for his amendment! What return shall I make for thy infinite mercies ? O, let this mercy be added to the rest, that I may never more offend thee: this single favour I earnestly beg of thee, O Lord, viz. that I may for the future renounce my own way to follow thine.
Help me, O Lord my God, and have compassion on my sinful soul. Amen.
The Method of Confession. Kneeling down, make the sign of the cross, saying:
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
Then ask a blessing in these words: Pray, father, give me your blessing, for I have sinned. Then say the first part of the Confiteor, as follows:
I confess to Almighty God, to blessed Mary, ever a Virgin, to blessed Michael the Archangel, to blessed John the Baptist, to the holy apostles Peter and Paul, to all the saints, and to you, father, that I have sinned exceedingly, in thought, word, and deed, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault. Then say: Since my last confession, which was so many days, weeks, or months ago, I accuse myself, &c.
After this accuse yourself of your sins, either according to the order of God's commandments, or such other order as you find most helpful to your memory; adding, after each sin, the number of times that you have been guilty of it, and such circumstances as may very considerably aggravate the guilt; but carefully abstaining from such as are impertinent or unnecessary, and from excuses and long narrations.
After you have confessed all that you can remember, conclude with this or the like form:
For these and all other my sins, which I cannot at present call to my remembrance, I am heartily sorry, purpose amendment for the future, and most humbly ask pardon of God, and penance and absolution of you, my ghostly father.
Therefore I beseech the blessed Mary, ever Virgin, blessed Michael the Archangel, blessed John the Baptist, the holy apostles Peter and Paul, all the saints, and you, father, to pray to the Lord our God for ine.
Then give attentive ear to the instructions and advice of your confessor, and humbly accept of the penance enjoined by him.
Whilst the priest gives you absolution, bow down your head, and with great humility call upon God for mercy ; and beg of him that he would be pleased to pronounce the sentence of absolution in heaven, whilst his minister absolves you upon earth.
After confession, give God thanks for having admitted you, by means of this sacrament, to the grace of reconciliation, and received you like the prodigal child returning home: make an offering of your confession to Jesus Christ, begging pardon for whatever defects you may have been guilty of in it; offering up your resolutions to your Saviour, and asking grace that you may fulfil them.
Be careful to perform your penance in due time, and in a penitential spirit.
Prayers after Confession. Accept, O Lord, I beseech thee, this my confession, and mercifully pardon all my deficiencies, that, according to the greatness of thy mercy, I may be fully and perfectly absolved in heaven ; who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, &c.
Or, O almighty and most merciful God, who, according to the multitude of thy tender mercies, hast vouchsafed once more to receive thy prodigal child, after so many times going astray from thee, and to admit me to this sacrament of reconciliation; I give thee thanks with all the powers of my soul for this and all other mercies, graces, and blessings bestowed on me; and prostrating myself at thy sacred feet, I offer myself to be henceforth for ever thine. 0! let nothing in life or death ever separate me from thee. I renounce with my whole soul all my treasons against thee, and all the abominations and sins of my past life. I renew my promises made in baptism, and from this moment I dedicate myself eter. nally to thy love and service. 0! grant that for the time to come I may abhor sin more than death itself, and avoid all such occasions and companies as have unhappily brought me to it. This I resolve to do, by the aid of thy divine grace, without which I can do nothing. I beg thy blessing upon these my resolutions, that they may not be ineffectual, like so many others I have formerly made ; for, O Lord, without thee I am nothing but misery and sin. Supply also, by thy mercy, whatever defects have been in this my confession, and give me grace to be now and always a true penitent, through the same Jesus Christ thy Son. Amen.
A Thanksgiving after Confession. I return unto thee, O Lord Jesus, and give thee thanks that thou hast been pleased to cleanse me from the foul leprosy of my sins. Blessed be thy name, O Lord, for ever and ever. Truly thou art a Saviour who rejectest none that come unto thee seriously desiring to repent, but receivest them into thy favour, and numberest them with thy children. I acknowledge and adore thy mercy, and dedicate myself wholly to thy service hereafter. Assist my weakness, and suffer me not again to fall into my past sins and to be separated from thee ; but so bind my heart and soul to thee with the cords of thy love, that I may say with the Apostle, “Who shall separate me from the love of Christ ?"
I. What an Indulgence is. By an indulgence is meant the remission of the temporal punishment due to us on account of our sins. Every sin, however grievous, is remitted through the sacrament of penance, or by an act of perfect contrition, as regards its guilt and the eternal punishment due to it. But the debt of temporal punishment is not always remitted at the same time. This latter is done away with by deep penitence, or by works of satisfaction, e.g. prayers, alms, fasting, &c.; or by the patient endurance of troubles and adversities sent us by God, &c.; or by the satisfaction of our Lord Jesus Christ and the saints, applied to us by those who have the power to apply them.
And although, in order to escape this temporal punishment, we must not rely on indulgences alone, to the nega lect of good works; yet because, at the best, our own good works are very imperfect, and the debt of punishment due to us very great, we ought to endeavour, as frequently as possible, to avail ourselves of the benefits of indulgences.
Indulgences are of two kinds :- 1st. A plenary indul. gence, when duly gained, is a full and entire remission of all the temporal punishment due to sin. The eight indulgences granted to the faithful in England, at the principal festivals of the year, are plenary indulgences. A jubilee is also a plenary indulgence occasionally granted by the Pope to the whole Church, in the most ample manner, and with the greatest solemnity. 2d. A partial, or limited indulgence, as of ten years, or a hundred days, &c. remits as much of the temporal punishment as would have been remitted by ten years, or a hundred days, &c. of the canonical penances formerly imposed on public penitents.
II. What is required for obtaining an Indulgence. 1. That we should be in a state of grace ; that is, free from all mortal sin. Hence the sacraments of penance and the holy eucharist are always enjoined as pre-requisites for obtaining an indulgence. For indulgences only apply to the punishment of sin; they suppose the guilt to have been removed. And although the guilt may be removed while the punishment is reserved, punishment cannot be remitted while the guilt remains.
2. In order to gain an indulgence, it is necessary to perform the prescribed works; for it is under this condition that indulgences are granted. But power is generally given to confessors to change the works for some others, in the case of the sick, or persons who are confined, and who cannot therefore fulfil some of the conditions, such as fasting, or visiting certain churches. It is absolutely necessary, at the very least, that the works required for the indulgence should all be done in a state