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7 That being delivered from the hands of our enemies we may serve him without fear,

8 In holiness and justice before him: all the days of our life.

9 And thou, child, shalt be called the Prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways.

10 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people : for the remission of their sins.

11 Through the bowels of the mercy of our God: whereby the orient from on high hath visited us.

12 To enlighten them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death: to direct our feet into the way of peace. Glory, &c.


Devotions for Self-examination, Confession, and Indulgences.

Prayer before Examination of Conscience.

MOST merciful God, I most humbly thank thee for all thy mercies unto me, and, particularly at this time, for thy forbearance and longsuffering with me, notwithstanding my many and grievous sins. It is of thy great mercy that I have not fallen into greater and more grievous sins than those which I have committed, and that I have not been cut off and cast into hell. O my God, although I have been so ungrateful to thee in times past, yet now I beseech thee to accept me, returning to thee with an earnest desire to repent, and devote myself to thee, my Lord and my God, and to praise thy holy Name for ever.

Receive my confession, and spare me, O most gracious Lord Jesus Christ, whom I, an unworthy sinner, am not worthy to name, because I have so often offended thee. Rebuke me not in thine anger, and cast me not away from thy face, O good Jesus, who hast said that thou willest not the death of a sinner, but rather that he should be converted and live. Receive me, I beseech thee, returning to thee with a penitent and contrite heart. Spare me, O most kind Jesus, who didst die upon the cross, that thou mightest save sinners. To whom shall I flee but unto thee, my only hope and my salvation? Have mercy upon me, O most gracious Lord, and despise not the humble and contrite heart of thy servant.


Grant me, I beseech thee, perfect contrition for my sins, that I may detest them with the deepest sorrow of heart. Send forth thy light into my soul, and discover to me all those sins which I ought to confess at this time. Assist me by thy grace, that I may be able to declare them to the priest thy vicar, fully, humbly, and with a contrite heart, and so obtain perfect remission of them all through thine infinite goodness. Amen.

O most gracious Virgin Mary, beloved Mother of Jesus Christ my Redeemer, intercede for me to him. Obtain for me the full remission of my sins, and perfect amendment of life, to the salvation of my soul, and the glory of his name. Amen.

I implore the same grace of thee, O my angel guardian; of you, my holy patrons N. N.; of you, O holy Peter and holy Magdalen, and of all the saints of God. Intercede for me a sinner, repenting of my sins, and resolving to confess and amend them.


An Examination of Conscience for those who confess their Sins regularly and frequently, according to the threefold duty we owe to God, to our Neighbour, and to ourselves.

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1. Have you disobeyed your superiors, murmured against their commands, or spoken of them contemptuously?

2. Have you been troubled, peevish, or impatient, when told of your faults, and not corrected them? Have you scorned the good advice of others, or censured their proceedings?

3. Have you offended any one by injurious words or actions, or given way to hatred, jealousy, or revenge?

4. Or lessened their reputation by any sort of detraction, or in any matter of importance? 5. Have you formed rash judgments, or spread any report, true or false, that exposed your neighbour to contempt, or made him undervalued?

6. Have you, by carrying stories backward and forward,

or otherwise, created discord and misunderstanding between neighbours?

7. Have you been froward or peevish towards any one in your carriage, speech, or conversation?

8. Or taken pleasure to vex, mortify, or provoke them?

9. Have you mocked or reproached them for their corporal or spiritual imperfections?

10. Have you been excessive in reprehending those under your care, or been wanting in giving them just reproof?

11. Have you borne with their oversights and imperfections, and given them good counsel?

12. Have you been solicitous for such as are under your charge; and provided for their souls and bodies?


1. Have you been obstinate in following your own will, or in defending your own opinion in things either indifferent, dangerous, or scandalous?

2. Have you taken pleasure in hearing yourself praised, or acted from motives of vanity or human respect?

3. Have you indulged yourself in too much ease and sloth, or any ways yielded to sensuality or impurity?

4. Has your conversation been edifying and moderate; or have you been froward, proud, or troublesome to others?

5. Have you spent over much time in recreation or useless employments, and thereby omitted or put off your devotions to unseasonable times?

6. Have you yielded to intemperance, rage, impatience, or jealousy?

Considerations to excite in our Mind true Contrition for our Sins.

1. Place before yourself, as distinctly as you can, all the sins which you are going to confess.

2. Consider who God is, and how good and gracious he has been to you, whom you have so often and so much offended by

these sins. He made you-he made you for himself, to know, love, and serve him, and to be happy with him for ever. He redeemed you by his blood. He has borne with you and waited for you so long. He it is who has called you and moved you to repentance. Why have you thus sinned against him? Why have you been thus ungrateful? What more could he have done for you? Oh, be ashamed, and mourn, and hate yourself, because you have sinned against your Maker and your Redeemer, whom you ought to have loved above all things.

3. Consider the full consequences of even one mortal sin. By it you lose the grace of God. You destroy peace of conscience; you forfeit the felicity of heaven, for which you were created and redeemed; and you prepare for yourself eternal punishment. If we grieve for the loss of temporal and earthly things, how much more for those which are eternal and heavenly? If we grieve at the departure of a soul from the body, how much more at the death of a soul, which is the loss of the presence of the grace of God? "What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world. and lose his own soul?" And "who can dwell with everlasting burnings?" Who can endure to be cast out from the presence of God for ever?

4. Consider how great has been and is the love of God for you, if only from this, that he hath so long waited for you, and spared you, when he might have so justly cast you into hell. Behold him fastened to the cross for love of you! behold him pouring forth his precious blood to be a fountain to cleanse you from your sins! Hear him saying, "I thirst," as it were with an ardent desire for your salvation. Behold him stretching out his arms to embrace you, and expecting you, until you should come to yourself and turn unto him, and throw yourself before him, and say, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son." Let the consideration of these things touch your heart with love for him who hath so loved you, and love will beget true contrition, most acceptable to God.

An Act of Contrition.

O Lord Jesus Christ, lover of our souls, who, for the great love wherewith thou hast loved us, wouldest not the death of a sinner, but rather that he should be converted and live; I grieve from the bottom of my heart that I have offended thee, my most loving Father and Redeemer, unto whom all sin is infinitely displeasing; who hast so loved me that thou didst shed thy blood for me, and endure the bitter torments of a most cruel death. O my God! O infinite Goodness! would that I had never

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