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Steps of Confession: How to Prayerfully Prepare for the Sacrament of Confession

Sep 17, 2019 5:00:00 AM / by Fr. Michael Denk

steps-of-confession

Confession is a Sacrament of the Church.  All of the Sacraments are an experience of God's love in a very real, profound, and personal way.   

The source and goal of all the Sacraments are experiencing the Father's Love through Jesus in the Holy Spirit. In the Sacraments, The Holy Spirit makes present the Mystery of Christ. In a profoundly personal and tangible way, we experience God, for real, The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit.

The Sacrament of confession is a personal encounter with God through the priest. God takes on human flesh so that you can see in the face of the priest the compassion of God, The Father. You will feel in the priest's hands laying on your head the hands of Jesus. Through the voice of the priest, you will hear the voice of God's forgiveness.  It is also a communal encounter because the priest acts as a representative of the Church.  You are reconciled not only to God but also with the Body of Christ, The Church.  

CHAPTER 1

Introduction to The Sacrament of Confession

All prayer is supposed to be in a personal relationship with The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. One of the primary purposes of The Prodigal Father is to help people encounter God as their personal, unconditionally loving, gentle, encouraging, and merciful Father. The Sacrament of Confession is the ultimate experience of his mercy and forgiveness.

The Sacrament of Confession is for members who are fully initiated in the Roman Catholic faith and desire to reconcile with God. As with all sacraments, everyone is welcome, but we do have a process of Initiation before receiving the Sacraments. If you are not Roman Catholic and are interested in possibly being initiated, you can learn more about The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults and contact your local parish. Once you become initiated, you too can experience the great Sacrament of Confession.

CHAPTER 2

Where To Begin 

Some people like to know a lot about something before they experience it. Others would rather experience something without having to learn too much about it. For those that like to learn first, we call this "catechesis." You can also learn by simply going to confession, so don't let yourself be overwhelmed from the following list. Use whatever is helpful and dismiss anything that is not helpful to you.

If something seems confusing or is too much information don't worry about it. You can always ask the priest for help. The most crucial step is merely GOING to confession. Just do it! Do not be afraid! It is a beautiful experience of The Father's love for you.

You may like to read about my own witness on why I love confession so much... read it here: Experiencing the Father's Unconditional Love in the Sacrament of Confession

 

What happens when we go to The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation?

The spiritual effects of the sacrament of Penance are:

  • Reconciliation with God by which the penitent recovers grace
  • Reconciliation with the Church
  • Remission of the eternal punishment incurred by mortal sins
  • Remission, at least in part, of temporal punishments resulting from sin
  • Peace and serenity of conscience, and spiritual consolation
  • An increase of spiritual strength for the Christian battle

What do you call this Sacrament?

As you're probably aware of by now, this sacrament goes by a lot of different names. So which name is it exactly? Well, it comprises of multiple names, and for a good reason. (Reference CCC 1496)

  1. It is called the sacrament of conversion because it makes sacramentally present Jesus' call to conversion, the first step in returning to the Father (Mk 1:15; Lk 15:18.) from whom one has strayed by sin.
  2. It is called the sacrament of Penance since it consecrates the Christian sinner's personal and ecclesial steps of conversion, penance, and satisfaction.
  3. It is called the sacrament of confession since the disclosure or confession of sins to a priest is an essential element of this sacrament. In a profound sense, it is also a "confession" - acknowledgment and praise - of the holiness of God and His mercy toward sinful man.
  4. It is called the sacrament of reconciliation because it imparts to the sinner the love of God who reconciles. "Be reconciled to God." (2 Cor 5:20) He who lives by God's merciful love is ready to respond to the Lord's call: "Go; first be reconciled to your brother." (Mt 5:24.)
  5. It is called the sacrament of forgiveness since by the priest's sacramental absolution God grants the penitent "pardon and peace."

If you would like to learn more about the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation, you can find out a ton more by reading this section of the Catechism.

CHAPTER 3

How to Prepare for Confession

While my best advice for confession is just to go, it will be a much better experience if you spend some time preparing. This guide I've made for you will give you everything you need to prepare as best as you can - with the help of The Holy Spirit.

Pray for the grace to know your sin.

There is no other way of Christian prayer than Christ. Whether our prayer is communal or personal, vocal or interior, it has access to the Father only if we pray "in the name" of Jesus. The sacred humanity of Jesus is, therefore, the way by which the Holy Spirit teaches us to pray to God our Father. (CCC 2264)

Ask God: "Father, in the name of Jesus, send your Holy Spirit upon me that I may come to know my sin, not so that I will condemn myself and dwell in it, but that I may be able to name it and confess it to you so that I may be freed from it." (Spend time in silence until God makes your sin evident).

You'll know it by that sinking feeling of guilt. It's OK to feel guilt at this time as it will help you realize where you need God's healing, mercy, and forgiveness. Jesus came to save us from our sins.  The Holy Spirit is revealing your sin to you so that you can experience forgiveness and freedom from it.  

There is a difference between guilt and shame. Guilt is feeling bad about what you have done. Shame is feeling bad about who you are as a person. Your sin doesn't change your identity as a beloved child of God.  The purpose of preparing for confession is not to make us feel bad about ourselves, but to feel bad about our sins so that we will want to be converted.  

Watch this video by Fr. Mike Schmitz to get an idea of the difference between guilt and shame.

Another prayer that you could say is:

"Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love." (Source: Roman Missal, Pentecost Sequence.)

Spend time before the Blessed Sacrament

It's beneficial to spend time before the Blessed Sacrament in Eucharistic Adoration. Consider making a Holy Hour and spend your time asking the Holy Spirit to reveal your sin to you and let any sins that you have come to your mind and your heart before the Lord.

Praying before the Exposed Blessed Sacrament may help you feel more exposed towards God and will help you prepare for confession. If there is any sin that we have, we will sense them before the presence of God.

Often we avoid going to God because we feel ashamed of our sin, and we tend to keep them hidden, in the dark and to ourselves. It is the reason Adam and Eve hid from God. Let this be an opportunity to do the opposite of hiding and instead of being exposed to the light.  There is something profound about Christ exposing Himself to us and the experience of intimacy can help us expose ourselves fully to Him.  

 

Examination of Conscience

Spend time reviewing an Examination of Conscience. These lists help us review lists of sins ordered either by the 10 Commandments, the Precepts of the Church, The Virtues and The Seven Deadly Sins.

 

Consider Praying the Examen Prayer Every Day 

The fourth step of the Examen Prayer is forgiveness.  It gives us the daily opportunity to be aware of our sin, name it, and journal it for the next time we go to confession.  The Examen Prayer helps us discover the presence of a very personal God in our lives and remain that love. Thanks to modern technology, and ultimately through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you can find yourself tremendously blessed by praying the Examen prayer each and every day.

It is is a brief prayer which is meant to be said twice daily for no longer than fifteen minutes. You can finish it in as little as two or three. The fourth of the five steps of this prayer is forgiveness. If you pay attention daily to your sin, you may begin to recognize a pattern.

This awareness can be a part of freeing you from it. The best part is is that you can review your journal in between confessions and then have a really good sense of what to say in confession.

Never prayed the Examen prayer or do you want to experience it in a whole new light? Check out our Examen Prayer App that will guide you every step of the way.

 

Don't overthink it, just keep it simple

Be not afraid! The Sacrament of Confession is ultimately about God's unconditional love and forgiveness. There is nothing you can do or say in the Sacrament that will make God love you less or the priest judge you in any way. Just go and confess your sins, especially the ones that are the most serious and shameful. There is no sin too small or too great that God won't forgive if you ask. It is especially important to confess the sins that we may be tempted to hide.

Confess any sins that you may have never confessed before 

Bring it to the light! If there is anything in the darkness, especially sins you are most ashamed of or afraid to talk about to another. Speak it out loud to the priest and God, and there will be profound freedom when you bring what was in darkness and secret into the light of Christ's love.

Given the delicacy and greatness of this ministry and the respect due to persons, the Church declares that every priest who hears confessions is bound under very severe penalties to keep absolute secrecy regarding the sins that his penitents have confessed to him. He can make no use of knowledge that confession gives him about penitents' lives. (CCC 1467)

Confess any grave or serious sins, also known as mortal sin 

Catholic Tradition and Scripture name two categories of sin: mortal sin and venial sin. What is the difference between the two?

Mortal sin destroys charity in the heart of man by a grave violation of God's law; it turns man away from God, who is his ultimate end and his beatitude, by preferring an inferior good to him [1855]. Venial sin allows charity to subsist, even though it offends and wounds it.

There are actually three conditions that make an act a mortal sin, according to Beginning Catholic:

  • It's an act of grave matter
  • It's done with full knowledge
  • It is committed with deliberate consent

To learn more about the different kind of sins, you can read the section in the Catechism.  It is important that an mortal sins are confessed.  

Say a prayer before confession

The following is one I wrote for you, but you may pray any catholic prayer before confession. This can be done in any way that you like or feel most comfortable: 

"Father as I come before you in this sacrament of confession I ask that you give me the gift of the Holy Spirit. Help me to see and to know my sins so that I may confess them and be free from them. Jesus, help me to trust that any sin I confess will be forgiven and that you came to save me from my sins.

Holy Spirit, help me to experience the unconditional love of God the Father personally in this sacrament through the priest. Bless Father (Name of the Priest who will hear your confession) and help him to be an instrument of your love and mercy. Please give me the courage to confess my sins, especially those that are grave and serious and most especially the ones that are most difficult for me to admit.

Help me to know through this Sacrament and the experience of confession that you love me unconditionally. I trust that there is no unforgivable sin and that any sin I confess will remain under the "Seal of Confession". (CCC 1467) Through the Sacrament, may I know and experience and feel the love and the freedom of being called a child of God, my Father, who loves me unconditionally."

CHAPTER 4

How to Go to Confession 

Prayerfully review the Rite of Individual Confession.  Please note that this is only to get you comfortable with it. There is no need to be overwhelmed. 

If you get nervous or anxious or don't know what to do, simply tell the priest: "Father, I'm new at confession... or Father I get nervous when going to confession... and I don't really know what to do... can you help me and walk me through everything?" The priest will be delighted to help you if he knows it is difficult and you want help.

Here is the actual rite. It would be beautiful to pray and prepare with the text. There is a Latin phrase "Lex Orandi et Lex Credendi" (The law of prayer is the law of belief), or more simply the way that we pray is what we believe.  Reflecting on the right can help you understand and believe what will happen.  

I have taken parts of the actual rite, added some commentary and in some cases adapted to make it easier to read or understand.  

As with all sacraments, confession is a prayerful encounter with God and you can understand more what we believe by prayerfully reflecting on the rite.

Rite for the Reconciliation of Individual Penitents

  1. Reception of the Penitent and Invitation to trust in God
  2. Reading of the Word of God (optional)
  3. Confession
  4. Prayer of the Penitent
  5. Absolution
  6. Proclamation of Praise of God and Dismissal

Reception of the Penitent and Invitation to trust in God

When you as the penitent come to confess your sins, the priest will warmly welcome you and greet you kindly.

In some diocese, the tradition has been for the penitent to walk in and greet the priest saying simply, "Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been (however many days, weeks, months or years) since my last confession."

Every priest may do confession a little bit differently, so don't be worried if he doesn't follow the rite precisely as there are different norms and traditions throughout the world. The essential parts are that you confess your sins (especially any serious, grave or mortal sins) and the priest speaks the words of absolution over you.

Next, the penitent makes the sign of the cross, which the priest may make also.

For some reason, it seems many people don't know to make the sign of the cross. If the priest doesn't lead you in the sign of the cross say it out loud and make the sign of the cross over yourself.

"In the name of the Father,

and of the Son,

and of the Holy Spirit.

Amen."

Here, the priest invites you to have trust in God, in these or similar words:

"May God, who has enlightened every heart,

help you to know your sins

and trust in his mercy."

After this invitation, you simply will say "Amen."

Here I will often begin praying with the parable of the Prodigal Son: "While he was still a long way off, the father caught sight of his son and was filled with compassion. He ran to him, embraced him, and kissed him."

Then, I prayerfully ask Jesus to send the Holy Spirit upon the penitent that they may have the wisdom, understanding, knowledge, and courage to confess the sins that they have, that there is no sin too great or too bad and that there is no unforgivable sin.

I then ask the Father to give the penitent a beautiful experience of God's merciful love so that they may know, feel and experience God the Father in and through me, the priest, in the Sacrament.

Finally, I ask that they may know above all else that they are loved and restored to being a child of God.

Note that often other forms of reception of the penitent may be chosen here.

The Reading of The Word of God (Optional)

Here, the priest may read or say from memory a text of Scripture which proclaims God's mercy and calls man to conversion.

A reading may also be chosen from those given for the reconciliation of several penitents. You or the priest may choose other readings from scripture.

If the priest doesn't initiate you may say one from memory or read one yourself.  

See the suggested Scripture Texts at the end.  

If the priest doesn't say anything and waits for you and you don't have a verse then common practice is for you to continue on by confessing your sins.

As I said before some priests may not say anything and wait for you to begin.  If that happens say: "Bless me Father, for I have sinned it has been (however long) since my last confession, and my sins are..."  

 

Confession of Sins and Acceptance of Satisfaction 

Here, you may also say this in your own words and it can be as simple as "My sins are..."

Where it is the custom, the penitent sometimes says a general formula for confession (for example, I confess to almighty God) before he/she confesses his/her sins).

"I confess to almighty God,
and to you, father
that I have sinned through my own fault
in my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done,
and in what I have failed to do;
and I ask blessed Mary, ever virgin,
all the angels and saints,
and you, father
to pray for me to the Lord our God."

Begin now telling the priest your sins.  Go ahead! Just start saying them. If you get stuck, sometimes the priest will patiently wait in silence for you to think. If you get really stuck, you can ask the priest for help.  You may say: "Fr. I'm sorry I'm anxious and having trouble remembering" or "Father, can you help lead me through an examination of consciousness?"  

This is a good part of the Sacrament for you to ask any questions that you may have about sin in your life.  The priest may also give you some advice or direction.  However, this is not a necessary part of the Sacrament.  Confession is not always the time for Spiritual Direction, but the priest may have the time and grace to offer you some.  

It is helpful to let the priest know when you feel like you have confessed all of your sins.  You may say the common phrase: "For these and all of my sins I am sorry."  

"Next, the priest proposes an act of penance which the penitent accepts to make satisfaction for sin and to amend his life. The priest should make sure that he adapts his counsel to the penitent's circumstances."

It is important that you understand and are able to do the penance that the priest gives you.  If you are not sure don't be afraid to ask the priest for further explanation or even another penance that you are able to do.  

This is a great time to ask the priest if you have any questions about your penance or any other questions that you may have about confession or your sins being forgiven.

Make sure that the priest gives you a penance that you understand and are able to do. If you don't understand the penance or would have some difficulty completing it, make sure to tell the priest.

You could say, "Father, I don't know how to do that?" Or "Father that might be too difficult for me because..." or "Father, could you give me an easier penance?"

If you are detail-oriented and need a very clear penance you can tell the priest that as well. "Father I struggle with scrupulosity, can you give me a penance that is very black and white?"

Prayer of the Penitent and Absolution 

Now is the time to make your act of contrition.  

"The priest then asks the penitent to express his sorrow, which the penitent may do in these or similar words:

"My God,
I am sorry for my sins with all my heart.
In choosing to do wrong
and failing to do good,
I have sinned against you
whom I should love above all things.
I firmly intend, with your help,
to do penance,
to sin no more,
and to avoid whatever leads me to sin.
Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us.
In his name, my God, have mercy."

Or:

"Lord Jesus, Son of God
have mercy on me, a sinner."

Other prayers of the penitent may be chosen as well."

Sometimes it is even better in your own words just make sure you pray out loud to God, tell him you are sorry, and ask Him for your help. 

Absolution 

At this point there is nothing that you need to do. Just listen to the words of absolution and feel the love of God as the priest lays his hands on you.

Here the priest extends his hands over your head (or at least extends his right hand) (He may even lay his hands on your head) and says:

"God, the Father of mercies,
through the death and resurrection of his Son
has reconciled the world to himself
and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins;
through the ministry of the Church may God give you pardon and peace,
and I absolve you from your sins
in the name of the Father, and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit."

After this, you simply answer "Amen."

Proclamation of Praise God and Dismissal 

In the United States priests don't often do this part because the people don't really know the response. Again, it is good to know the proper response. If you don't know it or remember it at least say "Thank you Father!" Or "Thanks be to God!"

Here is the proper form:

"After the absolution, the priest continues, "Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good." Here you will conclude with, "His mercy endures for ever.

Then the priest dismisses you, newly reconciled, saying, "The Lord has freed you from your sins. Go in peace."

There are many other forms of dismissal including but not limited to:

"May the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
and of all the saints,
whatever good you do and suffering you endure,
heal your sins,
help you to grow in holiness,
and reward you with eternal life.
Go in peace."

Or:

"The Lord has freed you from sin.
May he bring you safely to his kingdom in heaven.
Glory to him for ever."

Or:

"Blessed are those whose sins have been forgiven,
whose evil deeds have been forgotten.
Rejoice in the Lord, and go in peace."

Or:

"Go in peace,
and proclaim to the world the wonderful works of God
who has brought you salvation."

Again, your response could be: "Thanks be to God" or "Thank you Father." 

Complete your penance 

 Whatever penance you are given try to do it as soon as possible. It helps bring a sense of completion to the Sacrament, and it also helps you not to forget to do it! Trust that the Holy Spirit is at work through the Sacrament and even now through your penance.

Enjoy the experience of being free from your sin and do the best you can to sin no more! 

 

CHAPTER 5

Conclusion

What did you think? Hopefully, now you are ready to experience the Sacrament of Confession!

Which part of this was most helpful to you? What tips do you have for someone going confession?

Let me know by leaving a comment below, I would love to hear from you!

Below I have included some additional Scripture Texts to pray with before or after confession.  

 

CHAPTER 6

Additional Scripture Texts

John 21:15-19

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” He then said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was distressed that he had said to him a third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” [Jesus] said to him, “Feed my sheep. Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” He said this signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when he had said this, he said to him, “Follow me.”

Luke 15

The Parable of the Lost Sheep.  The tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to him, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So to them he addressed this parable. “What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it? And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy and, upon his arrival home, he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you, in just the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance.

The Parable of the Lost Coin. “Or what woman having ten coins and losing one would not light a lamp and sweep the house, searching carefully until she finds it?  And when she does find it, she calls together her friends and neighbors and says to them, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found the coin that I lost.’ In just the same way, I tell you, there will be rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

The Parable of the Lost Son.  Then he said, “A man had two sons, and the younger son said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of your estate that should come to me.’ So the father divided the property between them. After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings and set off to a distant country where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation. When he had freely spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he found himself in dire need. So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens who sent him to his farm to tend the swine. And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed, but nobody gave him any. Coming to his senses he thought, ‘How many of my father’s hired workers have more than enough food to eat, but here am I, dying from hunger. I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers.”’ So he got up and went back to his father. While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.’ But his father ordered his servants, ‘Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Take the fattened calf and slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.’ Then the celebration began. Now the older son had been out in the field and, on his way back, as he neared the house, he heard the sound of music and dancing. He called one of the servants and asked what this might mean. The servant said to him, ‘Your brother has returned and your father has slaughtered the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’ He became angry, and when he refused to enter the house, his father came out and pleaded with him. He said to his father in reply, ‘Look, all these years I served you and not once did I disobey your orders; yet you never gave me even a young goat to feast on with my friends. But when your son returns who swallowed up your property with prostitutes, for him you slaughter the fattened calf.’ He said to him, ‘My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours. But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’”

Ezekiel 33:11:

The Lord does not wish the sinner to die

but to turn back to him and live.

Come before him with trust in his mercy.

Luke 5:32:

May the Lord Jesus welcome you.

He came to call sinners, not the just.

Have confidence in him.

 

May the grace of the Holy Spirit

fill your heart with light,

that you may confess your sins with loving trust

and come to know that God is merciful.

 

May the Lord be in your heart

and help you to confess your sins with true sorrow.

 

1 John 2:1-2:

If you have sinned, do not lose heart.

We have Jesus Christ to plead for us with the Father:

he is the Holy One, the atonement for our sins

and for the sins of the whole world.

 

1 John 1:6-7, 9

"If we say, 'We have fellowship with him,' while we continue to walk in darkness, we lie and do not act in truth. But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of his Son Jesus cleanses us from all sin. If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing."

Isaiah 53:4-6

It was our infirmities that he bore, our sufferings that he endured, While we thought of him as stricken, as one smitten by God and afflicted.  But he was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins, Upon him was the chastisement that makes us whole, by his stripes we were healed.  We had all gone astray like sheep, each following his own way; But the LORD laid upon him the guilt of us all.

Ezekiel 11:19-20

I will give them a new heart and put a new spirit within them; I will remove the stony heart from their bodies, and replace it with a natural heart, so that they will live according to my statutes, and observe and carry out my ordinances; thus they shall be my people and I will be their God.

Matthew 6:14-15

If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.

Mark 1:14-15

After John had been arrested, 8 Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God: “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

Luke 6:31-38

Do to others as you would have them do to you. For if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same. If you lend money to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit (is) that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, and get back the same amount. But rather, love your enemies and do good to them, and lend expecting nothing back; then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as (also) your Father is merciful. Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.  Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.”

Luke 15:1-7

The tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to him, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So to them he addressed this parable. “What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it? And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy and, upon his arrival home, he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you, in just the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance.”

Romans 5:8-9

But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. How much more then, since we are now justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath.

Ephesians 5:1-2

So be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma.

Colossians 1:12-14

Give  thanks to the Father, who has made you fit to share in the inheritance of the holy ones in light. He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

 

Colossians 3:8-10, 12-17

But now you must put them all away: anger, fury, malice, slander, and obscene language out of your mouths. Stop lying to one another, since you have taken off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed, for knowledge, in the image of its creator. Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do. And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection. And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

 

Fr. Michael Denk

Written by Fr. Michael Denk

Fr. Michael Denk is the Founder of The Prodigal Father. He is the author of “Pray40Days: The Personal Relationship With God You Have Always Wanted”, and the creator of the “Examen Prayer App.” Fr. Michael is a priest of the Diocese of Cleveland and an Aspirant of the Institute of Voluntas Dei.

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